You know the saying where there are two sure things in life: death and taxes?
Well, I would like to add to that list.
I’d like to add the word: Change. It is constant! There seems to be lots of change! And with some change comes loss, and sometimes we have to say “good-bye”.
Now I have never cared for “good-bye”, it seems rather final. I’ve always opted for “see you later!”. But the truth is that things are not always the same when “see you later” comes, because life is not stagnant, but always moving; ever changing.
I looked up “bye” in the dictionary today, and one definition actually speaks of transition. I liked that. So how can I approach these transitions and changes and create goodness? A “good” bye?
This past week the United States of America swore in a new president. Many are uneasy with this change in government and governing style, and how it will affect our world.
Personally, I feel a lot of concern, but what has struck me about recent weeks is the class and style that the out-going President and his wife displayed. They lived with grace and diplomacy as they said a difficult “good” bye, and helped to make the transition easier. I respected that.
In our own church community we are facing our own “good” bye, with our pastor retiring; he and his wife, my dear friend, saying goodbye to our church family. This is not an easy change. They face a new way of living, different responsibilities, and they will be missed.
No, change is hard! And I was thinking, how do we send them off well… with a “good” bye? A so-long that is affirming, thankful, and also prepares our church community for the changes to come.
Part of the work I do is being present to people and their families for those last good-byes on earth. You might have heard of the phrase “a good death”. There is merit in that phrase, for I have met courageous people who face their death with dignity and have prepared themselves for what is to come.
There are no set rules, only some certainties. Can I walk through life, choosing to face whatever changes come with a sense of thankfulness, creating “good” byes?
There is another certainty that I cling to. I have become confident of this; that I have a God who loves me, who is with me through every transition and change in my life, who has promised never to leave me.
So death and taxes…. and change – are all part of our reality. The best part is that we can have the assurance that it will all be well in the end!
Until next time!