Transitions

“What are you running to?” a colleague had asked me. We had been discussing the reasons for leaving an employer that was downsizing paralleling the downsizing of the military industrial complex after the fall of the Berlin Wall. His question stopped me and made me think through where I was going to even more than where I was going from. That question, and other incentives led me to go to seminary and pursue a career as a pastor.

During subsequent changes in employment I have noticed that each transition involves a push and a pull. A reason to leave and a reason to arrive somewhere else. While pushes, reasons to leave, have initiated and sustained transitions, pulls, reasons to start somewhere else make the transitions worthwhile to complete.

While career changes had taught me to recognize the push and pull of transitions, force analyses also apply to organizational changes.

Paul’s encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9) illustrates a divine push to change from his old life. Yet it was the ministry of a former foe, Ananias who helped Paul recognize the pull to a new life in Christ.

What forces started and sustained a recent transition for you?

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