I knew without question this was a pivotal moment. The days surrounding the paramount instant when he walked up on stage had been filled with photographs, stories and reminiscing. But as much as this occasion was about looking back on his life thus far, it was also focused on the future.
What a wonderful time to be both dad and the Bishop, and to be able to hand my son his diploma.
Three days later, I stood before a packed house at Trinity Episcopal Presbyterian Church in Park Rapids to celebrate their 100th anniversary. This, too, was a pivotal moment. 100 years ago, the good folks of Park Rapids came together as a faith community in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota. 90 years later, they moved into a partnership with their Presbyterian neighbors: one of only two such partnerships across the Church. And while this was a celebration of their wonderful history, it was also a commitment to a bright future.
Graduations, weddings, anniversaries, retirements and a whole host of occasions in our life’s journey provide us with the opportunity in the time of transition to both celebrate our past and to lean into our future.
These transitions can also provide us with an opportunity for transformation.
Appropriate reflection on our history can bring about significant wisdom. Lessons learned on our journey can inform not only our future decisions, but also set a course for an entire life direction.
What has my son learned in his first 18 years that will help shape the person God is calling him to be? What experiences has Trinity had that will inform how they will engage God’s mission? Both have opportunities during this time of transition for transformation.
Think about those early followers of Christ whose first encounter with Jesus impacted their lives. It was clearly a pivotal moment on their journeys when they moved from one life to a life of following Jesus. It was totally transformational. A few short years later, the death and resurrection of Jesus once again was pivotal moment of those followers of Jesus — it not only transformed them, but transformed the entire world.
As life transitions come your way, may you seize the moment for the possibility of transformation.