Being on the crest of the baby boomer wave, those born between 1946 and 1964, now beginning to break upon the shores of the senior years, gives one a unique perspective. Despite the fact that we need glasses to read everything within arm’s length, anyone who has survived six decades of the passages of life navigating through both calm and stormy seas, still has the capability of 20/20 hindsight. As a new member of this fast growing salty-dog club, if you will, I found it insightful to gaze back upon the many stages and phases of life through which I have passed, many of them associated simply with aging. In the process I have been giving serious consideration to those aspects of inevitable change which are common to everyone and how best with God’s help, to learn to cope with such transitions.
Recently I gave a sermon at church in which I shared a biblical model for the three major passages of life based on 1 John 2:12-14. Titling it “Transition Lenses for the Passages of Life” I covered seven different phases of life through which everyone must pass and the purposes of God meant to be instilled along the way. Using an audience response system to poll everyone I discovered a startling fact. 80% of all those in attendance at both services acknowledged that they felt they were “in some phase of a major transition” in their life right now. That was true spanning every age, and interestingly enough, particularly for the 46-55 age bracket.
What I have discovered is that there are at least four things which everyone experiences when faced with navigating a transition, be it an inevitable passage of life, or a change of choice for a preferred future. Recognizing these common responses to change has helped me immensely in appropriating God’s sustaining grace as I learn to adapt. I pray that they can do the same for you.