Maybe you just put on your fancy adult pants and started a sweet new job after graduating college. Maybe you moved across the country, got married, had a kid (or another kid) or meeting new coworkers. Whatever transition you’re facing, you probably just upped your adult-ing game! Good job.
Now I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but I can pretty much guarantee that, no matter what life change you’ll face, it’ll probably be hard.
The good news is, I know a guy who can help you navigate your time of transition. He was a pretty cool fourth century saint who went from robber to monk through a remarkable conversion. His name is Saint Moses the Black, and he had one of the craziest transformations of all time.
Moses was an Ethiopian ex-slave and the leader of a gang that terrorized travelers and landowners around the Nile. After years of looting and bullying, one day he was forced to take refuge in the desert monastery of Petra. Basically, the monks’ simple prayer life was so attractive to him that he became a monk himself — talk about major conversion.
Realizing his own need for tremendous change, Moses dedicated his life to penance, prayer, and hard work.
Actually doing this wasn’t easy. There are many outrageous stories that speak of his attempts to fit into his new digs with his rowdy habits. One time, he dragged robbers into the chapel of the monastery while everyone else was praying. He had the bloodied thieves in his giant grip and said to the praying monks, “I don’t think it Christian to hurt the robbers; what should I do with them?”
Obviously, he assumed he would never fit in there with the holy, timid monks. He probably felt like a failure.
One day, the abbot, St. Isidore, brought Moses to the roof of the monastery as the sun began to rise. “Look,” he said to Moses, “It takes some time for the light to drive away the darkness. The soul is no different.”
St. Isidore was right. Eventually Moses became a spiritual leader in the monastery, showing the priests and brothers true charity each day. When he was seventy-five, the monastery was attacked, and after helping the other monks to escape, Moses was killed by the invaders.
So what can you learn from Moses and his shenanigans as it relates to the transition you’re facing?
1. Don’t stop praying.
Seriously, that’s the one thing Moses committed to! Keep praying daily, especially during times of transition.
2. Rely on friends and mentors.
St. Isidore reminded Moses that change takes time — and that reminder totally altered Moses’s life. Stay close to mentors and friends who remind you of God’s love and faithfulness.
3. Remember: Change is hard AND necessary.
God called St. Moses the Black to greatness in his new life as a monk — even though he didn’t know what to do at first. Maybe you don’t know how your transition is going to turn out, but trust that you’re in the right place and God can use you there.