Recently, I had the unpleasant task of having to say my “goodbyes” to a great team of school bus drivers and para professionals at Blair Community Schools of Blair, Nebraska. It was even harder to share the news of my leaving to the students I transported to and from school each day. Due to stressful demands of my time, I felt it necessary to free up my schedule somewhat and try to go one direction each day rather than two. Indeed, it has been a tremendous privilege to serve the Blair Community for almost four school years!
“Goodbyes” Are Difficult To Communicate!
Why is it so hard to say our “goodbyes”? Whether we are speaking of the arenas of the workplace and church or of moving across town or the State, saying, “Goodbye!” is very difficult for some people. You can know that someone is making a change in their employment, or in where they reside, but the finality of the word “Goodbye” reaches down into our stomach and ties it into knots.
We are quite comical sometimes, aren’t we? We can tell our spouse or children, “Goodbye!” then leave on a trip or go to work, and that seven letter word doesn’t seem to rattle us as much. However, if we convey that word to someone whom we will not see for quite a while or possibly not be able to work closely with again, then our emotions take a roller coaster ride of monumental proportions.
Coping With The “Goodbyes”…
I find it extremely difficult to say the word “goodbye”. In fact, I was not going to say much, if anything at all, about my leaving Blair Community Schools to my co-workers. Of course, the management needed to know. I did work a notice, but I tried to keep things quiet. However, I was reminded of something by a dear friend at the Bus Barn on my last day of work. She agreed with me that it was hard to say goodbye, but she also related to me that people would like an opportunity to say it! WOW! Call me a nut if you want to, but her statement was quite profound.
Saying our “goodbyes” is very liberating. It allows every human being an outlet for their emotional stress related to the severance or change of a relationship. That is not to say that every time we utilize the aforementioned seven letter word that we are not going to facilitate relationships when we invoke it. It does, however, give us an opportunity to express how we feel about the change in dynamic.
“Goodbyes” are not always final, but they can be. Funerals, for example, are very sad because of finality… depending upon what you believe about God’s Word. For a child of God, the “goodbye” at a funeral is not so tragic when the person who has passed away was also a child of God. The “goodbye” in that case is an, “until we meet again!” When a lost sinner takes their last breath and dies, it is very tasking for God’s children! The “goodbye” there is very final!
The ramifications of the word “goodbye” are quite complex sometimes. Conclusions are drawn, decisions are made, lifestyles are changed and a wide range of emotions are experienced. People can rejoice or they can be deeply hurt by using the word in question.
Jesus And “Goodbyes”…
(John 14:1-6) “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (KJV)
Jesus dealt with “goodbyes” with His disciples in John chapters 14-16. Our Lord had conveyed the fact that He would be leaving them. His words resonated then and still echo with you and I today! “Let not your heart be troubled…” coming from the lips of the Savior seems to slow the winds of the stormy tempest that can rage when “goodbyes” are stated.
So What’s The Big Deal?
It is important to share our thoughts and feelings in a constructive way. When we do not say our “goodbyes”, for example, we can do ourselves and those around us an injustice. After my recent experience with my friends at Blair Community Schools, I want to encourage each of us to be sure that we use the word “goodbye” carefully and meaningfully. After all, it could be very final!!!