Sunday, April 24, 2005

In Transit

If someone were to write a theme song for my life as I know it right now it would be called “Transition!” The lyrics would be set, ironically, to the song “Tradition!” from Fiddler on the Roof. I can hear Topol singing in my imagination:

Who, day and night, must scramble for a flight,
Kiss his wife and children, pay his daily bills?
And who has the plight, because of downsizing at the plant,
To get relocated and look for a new home?

The Papa, the Papa! Transition!

Have you noticed how the word transition has the word transit in it? Since I am currently travelling, I cannot help but notice that the structures that make up our society and culture are devoted to transit. I am surrounded by them today.

I am in a hotel room that is similar to most hotel rooms I have stayed in. It has a little coffee maker and a little refrigerator. I have a little bottle of shampoo and a little bar of soap. They are little because I will not be here for very long. I am in transit.

I have a wireless internet connection and I can stay in touch with my people far away on my portable laptop computer. Computers once filled a room and now I carry one on my belt. My computer, which is faster than a million speeding Univacs, is portable and I connect to the Internet super-highway without a wire or cable because I do not stay in one place for very long. I am in transit.

I am driving a car that is rented. There are nearly a dozen companies devoted to supplying me and other sojourners with a vehicle of transit. At DFW they have a huge complex about it, literally! Once you get off your plane you leave the airport and get on a bus that takes you on a ten minute trip to a large complex devoted only to renting cars. I fly. I ride. I drive. I am in transit.

When I was renting the car the desk clerk asked me if I wanted Sirius radio. I said, "How serious is it?" (Okay, I didn’t really say that). It was only $3.00 so of course I got it. Am I a sucker or what? I paid for something that is free – radio! However, Sirius radio is different. It is radio for people in transit. I can leave Dallas and listen to the same station all the way to Abilene. I can hear that same station in Fort Smith, Boston, Chicago, or Muleshoe. The signal is always there. Local broadcasting is so 20th century. Now we are Sirius about our radio and I can listen anywhere and I will because I am in transit!

This is the reality we live in dear readers. It is appropriate to lament, celebrate, explore, be nostalgic, be concerned, and be hopeful. What is not appropriate is to do just one of these to the exclusion of the others. We are surrounded by structures that strive to accommodate us and comfort us in our transition. And yet so few of these comofrts and accomodations really soothe our growing anxiety. What if we had in the midst of our transits and transitions a sense of the presence of the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever? Could we have the courage and hope to get up and leave the land we know and trust in the structures that only He can build? Let’s talk about this. Why don't you check in from time to time during your transits and sign the questbook – I mean, guestbook.

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