Transitioning Faith Transforming Fear

It’s one of those moments when life happens. Beyond our control, testing our resolve, causing us to realign our best made plans. 

I promised yesterday to continue today with part two of Faith Over Fear … and well this is not it. 

I didn’t forget , I simply have to reschedule that topic till Monday. I’m not making excuses but the weather and more human elements have combined to conspire against my best of intentions for our conversation here on “Becoming Today”.

We have been gripped by a heat wave with more than a week straight of excessive heat warnings and temperatures and dew points continuing to wear us and physical resources down. With temperatures approaching 112 degree again I spent much of the day dealing with a lack of air conditioning and the resulting time, efforts and delays caused by getting it restored.

Therefore  I have not been able to spend the time I so enjoy with you here. 

However, have faith, we’ll overcome these fearsome conditions and pick up with my promised discussion come Monday. In the meantime, as we wrap up this month, I’m reminded of a declaration I made as it began. Following my unscheduled 11-day odyssey I am more convinced than ever that we are embarking upon a momentous time of change. So keep cool, have a blessed and safe weekend while together we revisit what the future of our shared path may hold.

Transformative Transition

Are you ready?

We’ve reached another point of change along our shared journey here at Becoming Today.

Not only around us, but also a time when I believe we’ll all notice some of these decidedly different differences taking effect within us. 

As the calendar will mark the start of a new month, tomorrow, we also will be ushering in a new cycle and quite possibly a new season in each of our lives. I can definitely feel those winds of change beginning to blow and I’m not alone as we enter this round of experiences, challenges and opportunities.

We are being granted the potential for momentous change and growth. Are you ready? Are you willing to accept this time of “Transformative Transition”?

In order to do so, let’s make sure we are communicating clearly with each other. Let’s begin by examining this phrase of Transformative Transition. 

Transformative is defined for our purposes as “causing a marked change in someone or something.” Meaning a significant, noticeable, appreciative difference.  

We are talking about a potentially life altering transformational reframing of our lives, circumstances and maybe even our very definition of our Self.

Transition can be explained as “the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another”.

So let’s agree to understand Transformative Transition as a period of life altering change. Fostering growth, unlocking new opportunities, learning new behaviors and coming into acceptance with new ways, attitudes and truths. It is a time in which we can choose to alter our realities for the better. 

Sounds good to me. As I’ve shared often this year, I have no desire and truly see no reason to go back. Back to normal? When in your lifetime has everything ever truly seemed normal? And what exactly does that mean.?

While we all hear rhetoric about getting back to the good old days of 2019, I believe we should all be focused on becoming our future. Making this moment our best ever and living aspiring for even better days ahead. 

And I know I’m not alone if you look in the right places. Others are talking about the opportunities and advancements these past nearly 18 months of unexpected shifts have taught us.

One example I’ll cite is that of Rick Warren’s decision to transition his role at the church he has led for over 40 years.

In addressing his staff about the timing of his decision, Warren noted, “Thank God we are not what we were –  and we’re not turning back”. 

He warned his staff that this kind of  transformation will involve effort and that they will need to be ready for others to launch attacks against such momentous change. This type of transition involves you investing your life in something that will outlast you.

To paraphrase his closing statement I see some direct correlations for each of us, as he urged those in his immediate circle to:

GIve your best  (Always)

Step it up.

GIve more.

You have the skills, talents  and gifts necessary so take action now, because our greatest days are ahead of us.

Encouraging, inspired advice as we seek to change our own steps along this journey.

So how do we accept our time of Transformative Transition?

For me it’s viewing this as a metamorphosis. 

That involves an understanding of the cycle of these life-altering transitional developments.

Let’s begin with developing our shared definition of metamorphosis by looking at the origins of the word: 

From the late Middle English: via Latin from Greek metamorphōsis, from metamorphoun ‘transform, change shape’.

When it comes to changing our “shape” we’ll consider it in regards to distinctly different characteristics. This includes all four aspects of life, something for years I’ve referred to as P.I.E.S. 

Physical: Taking care of your body. Eating healthy, exercising, strengthening and conditioning to remain agile and flexible. Seeing that you are remaining disease free or taking proper steps and treatments, therapies, etc to ensure you are recovering.

Intellectual: Tending to your mind as well. Maintaining cognitive functions and abilities as well as having right thoughts. Keeping yourself motivated for the momentum to “Always Be “Becoming”.

Emotional: Maintain balance and control over your emotions. Celebrating the highs and guarding against the lows. Ensuring your mental health is fit as well.

Spiritual: Are you involved in a daily spiritual practice? How do you see yourself in relation to creation? Do you need rituals? Traditions? All very personal questions for yourself to consider.

In order to embrace these changes our metamorphosis will be defined slightly differently on each level . However, just like one of the best known symbols of transformation, the Butterfly, we can accept that our change will also come in four distinct stages.  

From the purposes of the stages of the butterfly life cycle (which I found at this site), I found interesting spiritual analogies.

EGG

First, the caterpillar hatches from the egg.  Just as all earthly life begins with a birth, spiritual life also begins with a spiritual birth.  (John 3:1-8 To be born again)

CATERPILLAR

The main purpose of the caterpillar stage is feeding.  In order to bring about the great transformation, a caterpillar must eat and store enough food to grow strong and support the change.  In order to be changed spiritually, we must also feed greatly on the Word of God, the Bible. The Word is what renews the mind and brings metamorphosis.

PUPA

The pupa stage is the transition.  During this time, the caterpillar grows the wings, legs, antennae that make up the butterfly.  As a Christian, we also are in transition.  As we feed on the Word, we develop spiritual attributes that weren’t present in our former worldly self.  Spiritual fruit and desires arise that give evidence that we are not the same as we were.

BUTTERFLY

The beautiful, gentle butterfly stage also has a main natural purpose– to reproduce.  Isn’t that also the purpose of believers, especially those who are mature and Christ-like? As it references in Mark 16:15 (ESV), ““Go into all the world and proclaim”.

As we embrace our time of Transformative Transition, just as the biological explanations of metamorphosis note we are accepting a profound change from one stage to the next in our lives. This can entail a complete change of form, structure, or substance, as well as differences  in  our appearance, character and intentionally intervening to react differently and either accept or deny your present circumstances.

My acceptance of this process followed this step of phonetically breaking down the word to Meta-Morph-US.

Meta: denoting a change of position or condition; from the Greek μετα-, meta-, meaning “after” or “beyond”, is a prefix meaning more comprehensive or transcending.

Morph: change smoothly from one image to another by small gradual steps 

Us: You and I; “we” -our collective identities along the shared steps we undertake along this journey. 

There are other translations which include the word, metamorphoo, described as “transformed”. Something the Scriptures in Romans 12:2 explains as necessary:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

In this verse the Apostle Paul instructs us that we should not remain the same. Accepting this new way of living requires “transforming” from one who lives and acts just like the rest of the world into one who lives by higher, compassionate, merciful standards of compassion and love.  This “metamorphosis”, is the renewing of our mind.   

The individual ways you can realize our own Transformative Transition will vary greatly. No two people are alike, nor are we created to be the same. Embracing our differences and affording each other the compassion, dignity and respect which we are due ourselves will help to form our own maps along this journey.

I myself am ready to become a Butterfly. Spread my wings and take flight to higher altitudes with better attitudes, more clearly defined actions and pollinating creation with as much love as humanly possible.

I ask you to reflect upon how you can, if you are willing to accept this time as a season of great change for yourselves.

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