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Friday, August 9, 2013

You in the hallway?

There are times when we get news which seems to take the wind right out of our sail.  The events unfolding appear to be the beginning of something we'd rather not face - like times of transition, downsizing, rightsizing, role changes, etc.  The other day, I was listening to one of my favorite radio stations and heard a little analogy from one of the DJs.  She began to share how she was talking with God about how discouraged she was with her present circumstances - waiting on test results from the doctor, needing to get projects underway and finished at home, work deadlines looming - all making her rather impatient in the waiting.  She then began to tell about how God showed her the purpose of the hallways in her life.  I began to ponder the idea of a hallway being a place between this door and the next - a place of transition.  It is ever amazing to me that God even provides the hallways in our lives so when we are awaiting the opening of the next door, we have a place to spend our transition!

When we trust in him, we’re free to say whatever needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go... I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.  (Excerpts from Ephesians 3:12-21 MSG)

All of us deal with transition points in life.  There is no escaping it - if we are living and breathing, change is inevitable - and so is waiting.  The points of transition are particularly important points though - so we should not gloss over them.  "Hallways" in terms of the ones we have in our homes are likely not the rooms we spend the greatest amount of time decorating, are they? Why is that?  Isn't it because we don't plan to spend a great deal of time in them?  We use them as a means of transition from one room to the next - not as a place of gathering!  Yet, we do put up something in the hallways, don't we?  A little picture here and there, or perhaps a special light or two to light the way.  We prepare the hallways in our home for the purpose they were intended for - passage.  I wonder if we have given much thought to the "hallways" in our lives God has prepared for our "passage" or "transition"?

Transition is a change from one position, state, condition to another.  It is the passage from one "scene" to another.  In TV movies, we see this concept pretty well.  The "scene" of being at home gives way to the next of being at the park and then on the way to the grocery store.  We understand the TV movie maker did not give us all the detail in between the scenes because it wasn't always necessary to allow us to experience the gist of the transition. Hallways in the spiritual sense are much like this.  We don't always take in the transition point as relevant to the development or opening of the next "scene" in our lives.  Today, I'd like to challenge us a little to see the purpose of the hallways.  Indeed, we might just realize the transition point is just as important as the destination!  It is the point of connection between what has been and what will be.  It is the conduit by which we take steps toward or away from something.  This said, the hallways serve a pretty important purpose we might do well not to gloss over!

Thinking about the "hallways" God has prepared for your life, you might have hallways which lead "to" somewhere - they are the ones you are probably most anxious to take because they promise something new or exciting in your life.  Then there are the hallways which lead "away" from where you have been.  Now, if you are leaving a very "filthy" room, the hallways between "filth" and the "clean" room is likely an appreciated journey.  If, on the other hand, you are leaving a room where you have developed a sense of comfort and familiarity, in order to get to a room where you are a little less comfortable, you might not be excited about the hallway!  Sometimes the ones which lead us away from something are frightening - at others, they are intriguing and hope-filled.  It kind of depends on what we are transitioning "between".  

Transition points are a time for us to dig deeper, hold on a little tighter, and to trust like crazy.  We don't always know what to anticipate behind the next door, but we do know if we are meeting up with God in the midst of the hallways, we have a great sense of peace in the transition.  Just sayin!