John 14:3 (King James Version)
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.
Yesterday was one of those “goodbye” days. My son and his girlfriend’s mom and sister had to take her to the airport today to fly back home. As the goodbyes were said I had some thoughts concerning the subject of saying goodbye.
“Good-bye! It was great visiting with you. Let’s keep in touch! See you in a few months!” Without bringing tears to the eyes of those of you who hate to say goodbye I want all of you to bring to mind a time when you were saying goodbye to family or friends. What were some of the things that you talked about? As you think about saying goodbye can you recall any common thoughts that you seem to normally express to people before you leave?
As I think about “saying goodbye” three basic ideas come to mind. Usually when I say goodbye I find myself quickly reviewing the time I spent with the person I am leaving. The second part of one of my typical goodbyes is the promise to make plans for keeping in touch on a regular basis. The final thing that often goes into saying goodbye is the making of plans for when I will see the person again.
The word "good-bye" derives from "God be with you," a blessing that was traditionally given at parting and, in some churches, still is. The protection and God’s help of presence and guidance can be requested whether two people expect to be separated a few hours or forever. In leaving nothing unsaid, we can recapture this original meaning, so that, in saying good-bye, we are actually blessing one another in our daily interactions as well as when we face major life challenges or crises. It only takes a moment to shift the way you say good-bye from a reflex to a conscious practice. Your good-bye and your blessing can become treasured gifts to other people as you part.
Dear Lord we pray that as each of has to say goodbye throughout this life that we would have our goodbyes be treasured gifts to those we say goodbye to. In Jesus’ name, Amen.