Transitions are all around us; it seems we are always in some state of change in our personal, family or professional lives. Our son, Jack, recently went from being a high school student living at home to a college student attending Luther, and while he is doing well, our home is now in a state of transition as we begin to experience life without his daily presence. Transitions, it seems, are unavoidable, but they are often filled with opportunity.
The three projects featured in the Fall 2012 issue of StoryLine are reflective of transitions. Last year, after Immanuel Lutheran Church in Waterloo voted to close its elementary school, Valley Lutheran School in Cedar Falls decided to transform itself into a K-12 school and welcome some of those displaced students and other grade-school children seeking high-quality Christian education. The transition meant changing the school’s identity, building out space to add classrooms and facilities and adding staff and resources to accommodate a much larger student body. As a result of this expansion, Valley Lutheran has positioned itself for continuous growth in the future – a move that will greatly benefit the children and families it serves.
In a similar manner, Green Hills Retirement Community’s resident-owners and leaders recently decided to expand the services and amenities it offers in an effort to enhance the quality of life for those who call Green Hills home. By adding more assisted living apartments, additional skilled nursing beds and a state-of-the-art wellness center to its campus, the community embraced the changes the new century has brought to senior living and, as a result, will likely maintain its competitive edge and attract new residents.
Finally, Huxley-based Kreg Tool is a very successful family business that is in the midst of transitioning company leadership while simultaneously growing to meet increased product demand in the United States and around the globe. To accommodate these changes, Kreg Tool has expanded its warehouse and distribution facilities and will likely continue to grow as it greets new prospects in the future.
As I reflect on these stories, I focus on the opportunities created by the transitions each of these organizations is experiencing. While change never comes without stress and risk, Valley Lutheran, Green Hills and Kreg Tool have all chosen to concentrate their efforts on making the most of their respective transitions in order to benefit in the future. They are acting, not waiting.
While, at times, it is natural to focus on what is lost in a transition, it’s also important to look at these moments as opportunities for new possibilities. There’s no avoiding it; change is going to continue to occur all around us, in every aspect of our lives. The question is, are we going to resist it or embrace the potential it holds?