I once spent weeks driving to the west coast and back. During the trip visited the tornado damaged Joplin, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Del Rio, Alpine, Alamogordo, Las Cruces Tucson, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Albuquerque and Amarillo. Having visited caverns, cliffs, caves, gorges and missions, I was left in complete awe.
Like all of us walking this life, there was no one-way. With literally hundreds of routes to choose from and with so many decisions that lay before me, I quickly learned there was no “perfect” route. Each carefully planned segment carried its own challenges. I encountered a major winter storm, with blizzard conditions halting an entire state’s transportation system. There was rain and flooding in some portions of Texas and the searing heat of the New Mexican and Nevada desert.
Sometimes we find ourselves lost. And thankfully, the Benedictine Abbey monks found me and gave me rest for several days. Other days, a local Mexican Restaurant offered these old bones dinner well past closing. And a local Marriott owner in Tulsa upgraded a room that hid a secret hot tub to enhance the night’s stay.
I was in transire then and transire now. The Latin term transire, means to ‘go across.’ Like all life-long road warriors, we are required to change. This past weekend was a great transition for me. I felt lost when learning of a colleague’s untimely death. But more importantly, I understand that those who travel life’s road experience both joy and sadness. One cannot have one without the other.
Yet in each mile of the road, I found a slice of home, where one found a sense of love. It felt like home, but was not. Each place was so unfamiliar, yet so lovingly familiar. Transitions are like that. In all our lives, whether the transition was chosen or forced, all usually ask, will anyone like us? Will we be the same when we come out upon the other side? God, will I even make it to the other side.
Each one of us must transition. We all leave school, gain employment and perhaps a career. Others will get married, have children, lose children, lose fathers, mothers, daughters, grandparents and more. Some will transition to great celebration, maybe becoming a senator, congressional representative, President, a heart surgeon, a paramedic, police, fire or veterinarian. Through it all, everything will be very different and so very similar.
Transire … transire.
Just as you, I am deeply carved. The canyons seen out west are true of all. Time and experience chisel a vast amount of wrinkles. It’s as if we build our own grand canyons. Except the chisel is from God and depth of love is formed by the very breath of His own lips. Like my weekend, there are times when the familiar will get lost. And in its place a whirlwind of confusion envelops us. Transition removed me from my comfort zone and I searched for someone to lean upon. Like the young mother cradling a child in the middle of the night, there may appear to be only darkness.
Yet within in these transire moments are opportunities for God’s grace and love. It is those moments where are vessels can find safe harbor. All religions have moments where the loving tender attention forms within us; a clarity and call to love. It’s in those moments that God’s footprints are found in not only during the transire, but also upon arrival. Where there is love, there is God, there is Christ, there is Buddha, and there is love. The colors, the sounds, and smells may remain the same or be different, but we will find things so familiar and so renewed.
How are you in your transire? Do you see the loving care given by your God? Do you give that same love to someone else in transire?