Monday afternoon I found myself praying as I walked from the Village Car Wash on Andrews Highway to Whataburger. I’m much more patient to wait if I have someplace else to go and something to work on; if I’m stuck in the car wash waiting room, held captive by their loud TV, I quickly get anxious and irritable. So I choose car washes near to my regular spots, near enough for walking. And this time, I guess the rhythm of walking turned my mind to prayer.
I asked God for help during this current time of transition in our family, to open my ears and heart to hear and respond to what he wanted for me. And then it occurred to me that I’d continuously prayed for help through bouts of transition for years. It came as a surprise: we were always in transition. I had convinced myself that our past lives were more settled and predictable, but it wasn’t true. They only appeared simple in retrospect. None of those times seemed settled while we were living through them. Life was always moving and we were in transition all the time.
I often hear people wish that they could live in the past when times were simpler and language was softer and teenagers were responsible and life was at peace, but those days exist only in our imagination. The people who lived then never said to one another, “Aren’t we lucky to be living in simple times.” No, they were fighting and scratching for survival every day, just like all people have done since the beginning.
And I had to admit there was never a time when I said to Cyndi, “Aren’t we lucky to have such peaceful and stable lives.” For one thing I’d never say something like that out loud because I’d be afraid to jinx it, like mentioning a no-hitter during the game; but besides that, we’ve always lived on lumpy ground yearning for future days when things would settle down a bit. It never happened. Never will.
But Monday afternoon, even as I prayed and walked past the convenience store on my way to Whataburger, I realized that transitions were not something to simply live through, they were the essence of life itself. If we didn’t have unknowns ahead of us, if we didn’t have to improvise our way through the key changes, what a boring un-life we would have. Where would the energy come from? Where would our joy come from?
Cyndi reminds me that balance is only peaceful on the surface; underneath it is constant movement. When Cyndi is balanced on one leg in Warrior III, she appears to be completely relaxed and peaceful, but if you look closely you can see the muscles in her feet firing right and left and the muscles in her legs hugging the bones and her ribs stretching and expanding. Balancing requires a lot of movement, but it’s the movement itself that makes it all worthwhile. And it’s the constant adjustment and improvisation that makes our life worthwhile.
When would I turn to God if I weren’t living through moments of transition, wobbly on my pegs trying to stay balanced? Why would God want to give me a stable life that allows me to ignore our relationship?
So I kept praying as I walked toward Whataburger: “Help us through this current set of transitions and get us ready for the next round. Speak to me in my ears and in my heart about the correct decisions I should make and the wise path I should walk as I move my office location, consider more consulting work, learn how to write books, learn how to market books, dive deeper into the lives of my guys, share my home, help Cyndi transition from teacher to business owner, try to replace diminishing oil and gas cash flow, and try to keep running on bum knees. Thank you, God, for transitions that pull me to you.”
“I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32
To learn about Berry’s book, “Running With God:” www.runningwithgodonline.com … Follow Berry on Twitter at @berrysimpson … Contact Berry directly: firstname.lastname@example.org … To post a comment or subscribe to this free journal: www.journalentries.org