We moved! In May, I accepted a ministry opportunity with Cornerstone Church in Chandler, AZ (near Phoenix.) We watched our oldest son graduate from high school in Texas, my wife quit her job, my kids had multiple ‘good-bye parties’, my senior went to prom, we packed our entire house, left about 1/3 of it on our front porch for scavengers when it wouldn’t fit in the moving truck, and moved to Phoenix in the summer…where our air conditioner didn’t work, none of the hardware for our furniture made the trip, and me and my three sons left for high school camp 14 hours away after two days of not living in our non-air-conditioned house.
And that’s only the half of it.
Here’s the truth. Transitions are hard – it doesn’t matter how smooth or heinous they are.
You have students that are about to LEAP into transition head first, possibly with little to no water in the pool. You can’t stop it – they’re already off the springboard. Maybe they’re headed off to college. Possibly their folks are separating. Or someone has died. They’re sprinting into rehab, but dragging their feet the whole way. Perhaps they’re just moving into your high school ministry from junior high.
It doesn’t matter which diving board they’ve leapt from – they’re in the air and concrete awaits their re-acquaintance with gravity. What do you do?
First, recognize that a crash is imminent. You can’t handle that disaster alone. Call in reinforcements. Find caring adults who will join you in loving and caring for kids in crisis –or transition – you say tomato….
Next, have some first aid readily available. Take a few of those kids out for a coke. Have some verses at the ready and write them down on this thing we call a notecard. Send them some encouragement in a non-traditional, unexpected way.
Finally, remind them that seasons of transition don’t last forever. Pools get refilled with water and they become fun again. Just like those weird glasses that turn into sunglasses that go back to being real glasses…adjustment comes. Light filters back in. Everyone sees more clearly.
Don’t run the risk of thinking ‘well now that they’ve hit the bottom of the pool, it’s over.’ No – it’s not. Transition takes time. It’s painful. It can be revisited. And, if ignored, it can be deadly. You’re the life guard.