I read the Bible this morning, as I do pretty-much every morning. I’ve been crawling my way through Acts a few verses at a time. This morning I finished chapter 25. Paul is slowly, slowly, making his way towards Rome. When Acts is read quickly, it’s dominated by the big narrative arc: a bunch of people taking Jesus’ message to Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. When you read it slowly, Paul’s frustration emerges. After heading back to Jerusalem, and being the centre of a riot, he’s been in custody for two years, waiting for charges to be brought against him. Two years. For the last few days (of my reading), we’ve been building up to something. Someone who can make a decision about the charges has been on the scene, and Paul is about to have his chance to speak.
Paul’s transition from Jerusalem to Rome is agonisingly slow.
I went for a walk this morning, as I do most mornings. The path was familiar: I didn’t even walk down any unfamiliar streets. But things are a little different today. I’m trying to work out a new morning routine. When I opened the front door on my way back inside, something was different: there was no four-legged creature waiting for me to come home. I miss being annoyed about the way he would jump. It’s too late now to teach him not to.
Some transitions are sad and unexpected.
Today is the first day of a new job. If life was a movie, then it would just be a jump cut: life has completely changed. But life doesn’t have jump cuts. Much of life is exactly the same, though a big piece will be new. I know broadly what this new job will look like. This transition involves figuring out the specifics.
I remember starting my first job out of uni, where I had no idea what it was like to have a job. The commute, the arrival, where to have lunch. I was so used to working alone in a home office up to that point, that it didn’t occur to me to try and have lunch with anyone! This is less of a problem these days.
To transition well in this case is to check the habits I’m bringing to this new job, and make sure I’m only bringing the best ones across. It’s easier to do this with a blank canvas, but without the experiences, there’s no way of telling what is worth keeping, and what is not.
Some transitions are routine.