As I write this, movers are hauling all of our stuff in boxes to our new home. Out the window, construction workers are tearing up the main road so they can make much needed improvements. Throughout the city, less obvious but equally impactful changes are being made, as more and more COVID restrictions are lifted and more and more freedoms and ways of life are getting back to normal. Personally, I’m wrapping up the last of my duties as the pastor of three churches in Southeastern Wisconsin, and gearing up for a summer as the new Youth Director at Camp Wakonda.
Transitions are never easy. Many times they aren’t fun at all. The past year has been devastating in many ways. The road construction that’s going on outside has had me quite consternated, as I’m constantly having to learn new routes to places that were previously easy to reach. Packing up our home and deciding what’s coming and what’s being sold or donated has been a chore to say the least. And of course, saying goodbye to our church family, to good friends made over the past four years, and to a community that we’ve loved being a part of: it’s got my wife and I feeling sad and nostalgic.
However, transitions can also be very rewarding. Because of public health restrictions, our churches have been able to implement much needed improvements. Because of annoying construction, we’ll get to eventually drive on a beautiful and updated roadway. While learning to navigate new communities, and jobs, and routes can be annoying, it can also be a fun adventure. And even though the past year of losing out on personal goals has been tiresome (and it’s not quite over just yet), we also can thank God that we’ve been blessed with life and health and that summer, and all of the outdoor activities it has to offer, is right around the corner. Personally, I can’t wait to see you all at Camp Wakonda this summer: whether it’s at camp meeting, summer camp, pastors & teachers retreat, Hispanic camp meeting, or one of a variety of other events.
Whether you’re currently struggling through tough transitions in life, or celebrating the benefits that those transitions bring, remember this: Jesus is coming soon to bring about the long awaited transition to a New Heaven and New Earth. The process of leaving behind the things of the world and following Him? It can be tough! But with God’s help and by His grace, we look forward to the day when we will see Him coming in the clouds, saying “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” May God bless you through your various transitions. Come to camp and see us this summer! It will be a year of transitions, but I know that God has big plans and I can’t wait to see the results.
Zack Payne, Youth Director