I recently watched an inflight movie as we flew from Washington, D.C. to Chicago and there was a song in the movie entitled “Everything Must Go.” It had to do with death and other changes in relationships, which I found very clever. The foundational layer of meaning had to do with the most familiar use of that phrase, “everything must go,” with regard to going out of business clearance sales which is what was literally happening in the film.

I could relate to the theme of a father coming to terms with his only child, his daughter, graduating from high school and moving across the entire country to attend college. This very talented young lady wants to be a doctor, according to the story. And she is incredibly talented because she is also a fabulous musician with a voice that is truly amazing. I loved listening to her sing. All the songs were really good, actually, and I’m thinking of downloading them from iTunes. I imagine there’s got to be a soundtrack for “Hearts Beat Loud.”

I think the reason the film’s main plot resonated with me is because I lived through my own change of relationship with our only daughter when she left for college several years ago. Well, more than several at this point. She left for a university in London in 2004.  We were stationed in Germany at the time. This is the first full week of 2019 so 15 years is more than ‘several,’ I guess. But it has flown by and, even though she’s now a mom with little kids of her own, I feel like it all happened a couple of months ago. Then I sent our only son off to college four years later and that was also a challenge for his dad and me. With our daughter, it was hard in part because she was the first. With our son it was partially difficult because he was our last…

‘Everything must go’ is definitely true for each of us as mortal humans, right? We’ve all got to go one day! But everything must also change or it’s not a living thing. And those life changes with our offspring are the end of one type of relationship, but the beginning of another that is richer and deeper as each of our children matures. Letting go of everything, like children, jobs, relationships, people, pets – it’s all really hard, but necessary. And every change, in time, leads to something better. Always different, of course, but better things come about if we approach each letting go with a grateful heart. Grateful for what happened, for who we got to love, who we got to hug, for who made us laugh and cry. Grateful for who, or what experience, made us better people, wiser people, more compassionate.

It is better to embrace change with gratitude for what has been and because you are still around to experience the new stuff! Hopefully, you’ve learned some things, you’ve grown in some ways, you’ve overcome some obstacles, or at least endured them. You can be proud of all of that!

Yes, everything must go! But you can let go willingly and with a trust that God’s in control. He’s got a plan and you just have to give Him your willing heart to see what happens next. Then you can accept it with excitement and with anticipation instead of trepidation and anxiety! God’s got this. He’s got you, in the palm of His hand.

Here’s something I read today out of the Catholic Catechism that is apropos of my thoughts above. It also quotes the Book of Wisdom, which is always a good thing. Very comforting, all of these words.

“With creation, God does not abandon his creatures to themselves. He not only gives them being and existence, but also, and at every moment, upholds and sustains them in being, enables them to act and brings them to their final end. Recognizing this utter dependence with respect to the Creator is a source of wisdom and freedom, of joy and confidence: ‘For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it. How would anything have endured, if you had not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved? You spare all things for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living’ (Wisdom 11:24-26).”
— (CCC, 301)

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