One of the continually rumbling thoughts I've had these past few January weeks has been regarding transitions.
I enjoy the game of basketball so much...and of course it is basketball season! I was watching our team (the Bruins!) play a few weeks ago and remembering one of the biggest differences for me way back when I actually played this game. The college game is so fast. It is essential to move from offense to defense quickly. This "transition" from one to another, the speed of the transition, is what sets high powered teams apart. Transition offenses look for ways to catch the defense unprepared and out of position, and transition defense requires immediate change from offense to defense and A LOT of communication with teammates. How fast a team goes from defense to offense is one of my favorite things to watch. How quickly can a team get the ball, either on a rebound or steal or even after a basket, and then move down the court attacking on offense? It is particularly interesting watching how quickly a team can take the ball out of bounds and get it back into play after a score. There is no time to react in disappointment to giving up a basket. Transitioning well means immediately getting the ball out of bounds and back in play. I love watching the Bruins on this one...we recover quickly from giving up a basket, and I believe that is one of the little things that makes us a very difficult team to guard.
I'm not sure if any of that makes sense...but it makes sense in my head when I'm watching the game and the Holy Spirit whispers to me in the midst of my transition thoughts, "How are you doing with the transitions happening in your life?" Hmmmmm. In response, I had to confess...I often get stuck.
There are so many transitions, aren't there? Waking up is a transition...sleep to a new day. Home to work...going from driving in traffic to settling into the tasks of the day. Unexpected interruptions and ever increasing work loads create transition moments. Getting my brain (and heart) to transition moment by moment through the day is tricky. Ending the day and getting myself to the place where I can go to sleep, is a challenging transition. This may be the hardest one for me. I get stuck in my day, unwilling to release it and rest. I am sometimes slow in transitions all day long.... And these are just the day to day transitions. This doesn't even take into consideration health to illness, illness to health. Unexpected (or expected even) death of friends or family. Financial change. Relationship change. Job losses and new jobs. Births of children, children leaving home...or life without children we had hoped for so much. There are so many really big transitions in life too.
I want to become more nimble in transitioning during my days, and transitioning in my life in the larger moments. I recognize that basketball is a game, but transitioning quickly on the court is a skill that I want to have in my days. I want to adjust quickly, respond without reacting, move through the day with my feet under me making wise decisions. Right?
I have so many thoughts about this! Here is one quick idea...on becoming more nimble. I find that I need to be still at the beginning and end of my day...and to pause often in the middle, refocusing on the Lord as my Father. It seems counter-intuitive that transitioning well involves being still...but it does for me. The more steady I am on the inside, the more connected I am with the Lord, the better I am at handling the many shifts and changes in my days.
It's a little bit like taking time outs on the court. A well placed time out, one that processes and corrects and sets the athlete free to perform, can be a game changer. I don't know how you soccer people do it!
In the Good and Beautiful God book on page 52 James Smith writes, "Our world is noisy and hurried, and few of us stop to be still. The God who is good can only reach us when we are quiet." Somehow, in the middle of each transition of my day, I am learning to be quiet and listen. And I am finding as I'm quiet, He is asking me to trust Him. Trusting Him helps me pivot to whatever is next...I know He is holding all things together, especially me. I know when I let something go, He holds it. "For I know the One in whom I have placed my confidence, and I am perfectly certain that the work He has committed to me is safe in His hands until that day." 2 Tim 1:12 (Phillips)