On a fishing trip with my uncle and cousin in California several years ago, we met Dave. The story of Dave and that fishing trip probably deserves a blog post of its own, but for now I’ll just focus on the cosmic wisdom Dave shared with us. While sitting in a hot spring in the Sierra Nevada on a cool May night, we asked Dave the obligatory ice-breaking question “What do you do?” His response was life-changing: “I’m in transition.” Literally, life, changing.
As I have thought about that phrase over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re all “in transition.” At the most fundamental and inescapable level, we’re all getting older. So, we’re transitioning from younger to older, from naïve child to wise adult.
I recently had a birthday, turning 44. (44 happens to be my favorite number…a reference to a scrappy Boston Celtics point guard from the mid-1980s). In what is probably complete over-analysis, I have wondered if this is mid-life for me. And if it is, what have I accomplished in those 44 years? As I try to stay in and enjoy the present, I wonder what the next 44 years hold?
I’ve been dabbling in a number of things: playing guitar and writing my first song (it’s not very good); trying to learn Swedish (very slowly); working on a year-long photography project (more than halfway there!) and possibly the most difficult of all, reevaluating how Christ sustains and directs my life. It’s been a period of exploration, discernment and growth.
A popular Christian speaker came to Richmond recently and shared his thoughts on the universe, our hearts, where we have been and where God is leading us. In a nutshell, he believes, as do I, that the universe is ever-expanding and moving forward toward greater depth, greater complexity and toward unity and community. For 14 billion years our universe has been “in transition.” As have we, though for not as long. God has been and will continue to be the force, the energy and the life of the world. God is the Spirit pulling the universe toward reconciliation where there is more light than darkness, more joy than pain. We’re evolving, growing and changing, thanks be to God.
Change, it seems, is the essence of being “in transition.” Our son is off to college in a month. Our daughter will be in her first year in high school. Two freshmen! My wife and I will have new parental challenges. It is my hope that accepting the invitation to become an elder will help me to grow, become more complex, a deeper disciple who is united with the church, the community and the world.
It’s a year of transitions. Only God knows what’s next, but I know it’s going to be good. I am thankful to be a small part of God’s “transition” team for the ever-expanding universe.
And I wonder what Dave is doing now…
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
“….being confident of this, that he who began a good work in your will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:6
Andy Lacatell, a new elder who joins our Session this fall, lives in Mechanicsville with his wife, son, and daughter. Andy grew up on the South Shore of Massachusetts, spending as much time on the beach as he could. A graduate of the University of Richmond with master’s degrees from VCU, Andy works for The Nature Conservancy.