It is hard to say goodbye. It is sad. We tend to get mired in the feelings of something ending rather than the excitement of something new starting. In a very real way, “Toy Story 3” is a parable about endings and how to say goodbye to the things that we have known. It is an ending that demonstrates the characters moving on to new adventures and new relationships. While there may be tears, there is also hope. It is a story we all need to hear.
As a pastor I say goodbye a lot. I am ‘itinerant’ which means I serve where the Bishop says I should when the bishop says I should. I have served anywhere from one to seven years in my twenty years in ministry. It is a fact of my life that I will leave. It is the under layer of everything I do. I think about whether something I start can continue without me when I am no longer there. If the answer is no, I think twice before starting a new ministry. I will always have to say goodbye. It is hard and it is easy to get stuck in the sadness of the leaving. The reality is that moving on is an opportunity, not just for me but for the church. An opportunity for new vision, new priorities, and new voices.
“Toy Story 3” manages to capture all that poignancy of love, loss, and hope that we all go through in our lives. I needed my tissue several times during the movie and I am not ashamed of that fact. Goodbyes are hard, but they are not the end of our story. They are a break, a pause, a moment of reflection before we move on to what is next. They are an acknowledgement of what has been and who we are in that moment. They are a time to gives thanks for the good and move on from the bad. They are difficult, but necessary. Woody and Andy gave us a beautiful model to follow.
Did “Toy Story 3” give you all the feels? Tell me here: