Jeremiah’s prophetic command for Israelites, exiled from their homeland and under oppression, to plant gardens, marry, do business, and built up the community in which they have been forced into exile has taken on deep meaning for me as I’ve gone through transitions in my life the last few years.
There is a part of me when I’m in the midst of transition that wants to say “well, let me wait. Wait until things are settled”. Though there is some wisdom to that, Jeremiah warns us it can go too far.
While you are waiting for your transitions to end and your goals to be met, there is a life to be lived. In the meantime, build relationships. Be a friend. Be a neighbor. Care for your family. Work to make the community you are in a better one. Beautify the world you are in, even if it is not the place you will settle down and build your life. Because life is what happens when we are waiting and working.
To me this is a good challenge. Wherever you are, you cannot know with certainty if it will be here you live a life-time or a moment. But you can know with certainty if you will embrace the moment in front of you.
Whether in an exile time or transition time in your life, embrace living. Embrace others. Embrace healing and beautifying the land in which you find yourself. And know as you do so, it will make a difference for others and for yourself. When you find yourself arriving, whether through reaching that next milestone or through heading on to a new place, the work of being present and embracing life here in the transitions will get your heart and soul ready for that next blessing.