Bob Tamasy: The World I Used to Know – Where Did It Go?

Thursday, March 8, 2018 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Have you ever had the thought, “Where am I? And what have you done with the world I used to know?” I must admit it’s crossed my mind more than once.

When I was growing up, the biggest problems in our schools were chewing gum, running in the hallways, and the only shooting that took place involved “spitballs” through straws. To talk disrespectfully to a teacher, much less confront one violently in anger, was unthinkable. The idea of someone coming into a school with guns and other weapons, seeking death and devastation, wasn’t on anyone’s fear monitor.

It used to be that comedians could comment on everyday situations we all could relate to, without resorting to heavy doses of profanity and vulgarity. They genuinely tried to entertain, not to demean or ridicule others, or to endorse a certain worldview. Funny people were, well, funny. And they left all of us feeling a little more lighthearted and better equipped for facing the realities of everyday life.

There was some degree of bullying in the world I used to know, and it was unacceptable even then. But these days, technology has driven malicious thinking, words and actions to depths we couldn’t have envisioned in decades past. How tragic that seemingly neutral tools, things such as computers, smartphones and social media, have become twisted into devices for hate and depravity.

The world I used to know was far from perfect, I’m fully aware of that. Society has made some important and positive strides forward. But today, “tolerance” has come to mean being favorable toward anyone who takes a “do whatever you want” posture, while being utterly intolerant of anyone who holds a view that some things just can’t be tolerated, accepted…or heartily applauded and endorsed.

It once was unfathomable that someone on a daytime talk show would denigrate anyone who follows Jesus Christ – and believes He can personally speak to them in a variety of ways – as having a “mental illness.” This, however, is exactly what one “celebrity” whom I won’t dignify by naming stated recently.

A Bible discussion I participated in helped to bring things into perspective. Several passages in the Bible refer to God’s people as “aliens and strangers” in this world. For example, 1 Peter 2:10-11 states, Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.” (Another translation uses the phrase, “aliens and strangers.”)

King David wrote, Hear my prayer, LORD, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping. I dwell with you as a foreigner, a stranger, as all my ancestors were” (Psalm 39:12). And in the book of Hebrews’ “hall of faith,” in speaking about those who through the centuries exhibited great faith, it says, All these people died in faith, without having received the things they were promised. However, they saw them and welcomed them from afar. And they acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth (Hebrews 11:13).

This reminds me of lines from an old hymn you might remember hearing: “This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue…. The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”

If we believe the Scriptures, we’re told this world is not the destination, just an interim stop – similar to a stopover in some city’s airport where we change planes so we can get to where we want to go. The only time I’ve been to Salt Lake City, Utah was like that. I didn’t even change planes; we just landed, some passengers disembarked, others boarded, and we were off again. (Looking through the jet’s windows, the nearby mountains did look beautiful.)

Carrying the “aliens and strangers” metaphor further, Ephesians 2:19 points out that once we become members of God’s eternal family, we change citizenship: Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his household.”

So as the political debate over “illegal aliens” continues to rage, we should recognize that from God’s point of view, we too are “aliens” in this world, neither legal nor illegal. We’re just a-passin’ through. What are we to do in the interim? In 1 Peter 2:12, we find our instructions: “Live such good lives among the pagans (non-believers) that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Peter 2:12).

So if we feel alienated at times, it’s because we are aliens, even though no passports, visas or green cards are involved. We can take heart by remembering, “our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).


Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog,, or his website (now being completed), He can be emailed at

New Programs Underway For Youth Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints In Chattanooga

New programs are underway for youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the greater Chattanooga area and around the world.  The biggest change announced so far is that the Church is discontinuing its role with the Boy Scouts of America, after 100 years of association.    Camps and other outdoor activities will still be part of our activities,” ... (click for more)

Steve Ellison: Where Are You Going?

Abram and Sarai got impatient waiting on the promise of the Lord.  Sarai sent her servant, Hagar, into Abram’s arms.   Hagar conceived and quite expectedly Sarai became jealous and resentful.  Hagar fled to the desert to escape mistreatment from Sarai.  Hagar stopped beside a spring in the desert on the road to Shur.   Genesis 16 records what ... (click for more)

City Council Considering Possible Curbs On Steep Slope, Flood Plain Development

The City Council, which is considering possible curbs on steep slope and flood plain development, heard a presentation on the topic from the Regional Planning Agency staff on Tuesday. Councilman Darrin Ledford said a public hearing will come next. He said the council hears frequent criticism of development on steep hillsides and lowlands, "and I expect a great turnout for the ... (click for more)

Judge Denies New Trial For Unjolee Moore In 2010 Murder

Criminal Court Judge Don Poole has denied a new trial for a man convicted of a 2010 murder. Unjolee Moore, at a recent hearing, claimed that he made a confession after being beaten by a detective and held for over 13 hours while handcuffed behind his back. He a lso said he had ineffective assistance of counsel. His current lawyer, Daniel Murphy, said he was able to obtain ... (click for more)

Why I'm Voting Republican And So Should You

For much of my life, the commitment to the Democratic Party has puzzled me. I was raised to analyze both sides of issues and to make an intelligent decision based upon that information. The values of self-reliance, hard work, and individual liberty that I grew up with were the same American values that have made this country exceptional. As I have grown older, I have witnessed ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UT’s Genius Stroke

If all goes as (very carefully) planned, the most dynamic president to be hired at the University of Tennessee since the legendary Andy Holt retired in 1970, will be ushered into office today by the university’s board of trustees. The selection of Randy Boyd to take over his ala mater is a genius stroke and certainly seems to solidify two of life’s greatest truths. The first ... (click for more)