Editor's note: Bryce Pascoe, who has served as the North Pacific Union Conference executive secretary since 1994, is retiring as of August 1 this year. A short paragraph about his service is included on page four. A more in-depth article will appear in the September GLEANER. Here are his perspectives as he enters this new phase of life.
I was reminded of the transitions of life while visiting my dad during the late stages of what would prove to be a terminal illness. One morning our extended family prepared to visit him at the hospital. Before we left, his three great-grandchildren each drew a special picture for him. They concluded their delightful creations with comments of affection, adding personal signatures with a flourish. When we arrived at the hospital, my dad was thrilled with these gifts from the heart. As the little ones gathered around his bed, he looked up appreciatively and said to me, "This is the cycle of life. As I prepare to leave, they are just coming onto the stage."
Life is filled with transitions. From birth onward, we celebrate the many stages of life: from birth to walking; from cradle roll to young adult Sabbath Schools; from the early play-filled years to the school years; from one graduation to another; from the single life to married life for many; from employment to retirement; from retirement to eternity. Each transition provides opportunity for growth and development. Lifelong learning and service are hallmarks of the Christian calling.
A life devoted to and spent for God is the highest form of significance for us as individuals. True significance emerges as our life becomes centered in Christ and His purposes. He entrusts us with the management of life that finds its fulfillment in glorifying Him. As we discover our spiritual gifts and invest them for His purpose, we find our true place and our greatest joy in this world. And developing these gifts prepares us for and enhances our experience in the world to come.
In all phases and circumstances of life, we bear witness to God's character and our trust in Him — at home, at school, at work or at play. Whether we are in a period of good health or facing an experience of serious distress, our level of trust in God reflects our sense of adequacy in Him. Life offers no guarantees, but God does. The Giver of Life promises to walk with us through every circumstance. By His grace, He provides a guaranteed outcome that all who believe in Him will be made new. This is why the Advent Hope is the blessed hope. It brings to fulfillment all of life's transitions with an ultimate transition to our heavenly home.
As I transition into retirement this month, our granddaughter is making her transition into school for the first time. The experience of lifelong learning lies before both of us. The cycle of life continues, but from my own Christian perspective, it is moving rapidly toward an eternal climax.
What a reunion that will be for every generation of believers. What an experience it will be to meet our Savior face to face. He has made our ultimate transition possible through His loving self-sacrifice. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Maranatha!
"Life offers no guarantees, but God does."