The goodbye song

Not long ago, I worked as a receptionist in a museum. Every day, about five minutes before closing time, the sound system would play a slow, romantic song over the museum’s loudspeakers. It was a signal for us employees to gather our things, turn off lights and screens, shut down exhibits, and make our way home. The lyrics were in a foreign language, but there was one English sentence in the chorus: “Let go, let go, it’s time to say goodbye.”

I called that song “the goodbye song,” because hearing it was the signal that I could say goodbye to my work, to the colleagues I liked and the ones I didn’t, to the visitors who had appreciated me and the ones who hadn’t. As I’d leave the museum with “Let go, let go, it’s time to say goodbye” still ringing in my ears, it felt easy to just relax my shoulders, smile, and proceed with the rest of the evening.

When it came time for me to exchange my job at the museum for one in a completely different field, I struggled with the process of tearing myself away from a job that I loved and had invested so much time and energy into. I was wary of quitting my routine and throwing myself into another volatile mix of new surroundings, new personalities, and new challenges.

On my last day of work at the museum, I was a bit gloomy when hearing the “goodbye song.” The song that had once brought peace and calm to my weary heart was now hitting my inner sore spot, as I mentally added it to my list of things I would miss from this workplace. I knew that a better work environment and better opportunities for development and growth were waiting for me at my new job, but those facts were hardly a consolation at the moment, when all I could think of was how much I hated saying goodbye.

As I commuted home from work, it came to me that just as the “goodbye song” had once helped me to put my work behind me at the end of the workday, so now the song’s calm, graceful spirit could help me to look back with thankfulness and forward with courage. God was making a way for me in the unfamiliar wilderness, and good things would happen if I could follow with a trusting heart.