Bob Tamasy: Good Ole Song For A Good (Or Not So Good) Old Year

Monday, December 31, 2018 - by Bob Tamasy

Do you know who old Lang is? You know, the person whose sign they always sing about on New Year’s Eve? Old Lang’s sign?

All right, it’s actually Auld Lang Syne, but what’s that mean, anyway? In case you were wondering – and we’re told inquiring minds want to know – I looked it up. It comes from the title and key phrase of a 1788 Scots poem by Robert Burns. Traditionally sung on New Year’s Eve in many parts of the world, “auld lang syne” literally translates to “old long since.” Basically it means, “days gone by.”

I remember years ago hearing bandleader Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians orchestra playing this bittersweet reverie leading up to the moment when past and future intersect, as “Father Time” passes the torch for the coming year:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o’ auld lang syne.

If nothing else, the song gives people a reason for toasting with their favorite beverages in remembrance of days gone by and looking forward to days yet born. I don’t think the tune is sung or performed at any other time of year. Christmas carols are heard for weeks (okay, months) before they’re instantly turned off on Dec. 26, but “Auld Lang Syne” gets only a one-night stand.

It seems fitting to pause and reflect on old acquaintances and key events of the past year before charging into the new one. Many of us have good friends and loved ones who left this life during 2018. They are missed. We’ve got happy times and achievements to remember with joy; and there are the moments (or extended periods) during the year for which we now can say, “Good riddance!”

From a spiritual perspective, it’s good to remember what the Lord has done over the past year. In one of his psalms, King David was going through a time of intense opposition and needed a reminder of God’s faithfulness. “So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land…. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul” (Psalm 143:4-8).

Perhaps that sounds like you as we prepare to close out one calendar year and turn the page to the next. It does help to recall great things God has done in the past, for us and others, trusting He remains faithful and will do similar things in the coming days.

At the same time, we’re admonished not to get stuck in the past and let it darken our expectations for the future. In Isaiah 43:18-19, the prophet wrote what God had spoken to him: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

In some ways the beginning of a new year doesn’t necessarily mean a totally fresh start. Projects unfinished over the past 12 months will need to be continued even as we flip calendars. For most of us, the job we had on Dec. 31 will be the same one we report to on Jan. 2; strained relationships at the close of the old year will still require attention – and hopefully, healing – in the new.

Nevertheless, the onset of a new year still gives us reason for renewed hope. We can start afresh, trying again with strengthened resolve and determination. Best of all, we have the promise of 2 Corinthians 5:17 that applies to our everyday lives: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!

So the next time someone asks, “What’s new?” we can answer, “Me!”

- - - -

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, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Bob Tamasy: Reasons For Not Losing Heart

"Chaos Can Lead To Victory!" Is Sermon Topic At Middle Valley Church Of God On Sunday

St. Timothy's Church Presents Jazz Vespers Service On Jan. 27


Do you ever have a day, even for a fleeting moment, when you wake up and think, “I’m not getting out of bed today”? You’re tempted to pull the covers over your head and pretend, like an ostrich ... (click for more)

Middle Valley Church of God, at 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announced that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, "Chaos Can Lead To Victory!" in the 10 a.m. service on Sunday. ... (click for more)

For the thirteenth year, a jazz vespers service will be held at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, this year on Sunday, January 27, 2019, at 5 p.m. Kathy Tugman and the David Walters Trio will perform, ... (click for more)


Church

Bob Tamasy: Reasons For Not Losing Heart

Do you ever have a day, even for a fleeting moment, when you wake up and think, “I’m not getting out of bed today”? You’re tempted to pull the covers over your head and pretend, like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand, that if you can’t see the world, the world can’t see you. Maybe you made the mistake of watching the evening news before going to bed, absorbing the daily ... (click for more)

"Chaos Can Lead To Victory!" Is Sermon Topic At Middle Valley Church Of God On Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God, at 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announced that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, "Chaos Can Lead To Victory!" in the 10 a.m. service on Sunday. Pastor Mitch McClure will lead the congregation in a time of worship, and prayer on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Sunday School classes are available for all age groups. ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Authorities Say October 2018 Murder Of Jacob Dakota Moore Was Carried Out At 4915 Orchard Drive In Apison

Authorities say the murder of 26-year-old Jacob Dakota Moore was carried out on Oct. 10 at 4915 Orchard Dr. in Apison. James David Robinson, 42, and Askia Witherow39, have been charged in the slaying. His body was found by hunters at a remote area of Polk County on Oct. 29. The TBI said the property off of Tieskee Creek Road belongs to Dale Bishop, step-father of Robinson. ... (click for more)

Linda Damewood Killed, Another Critical, Third Injured In Shooting At Crossville

One person was killed, another critically injured and a third hurt in a shooting at Crossville on Saturday. Linda Damewood, 74, of Crossville, was dead at the scene. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Tansi Security, and Tennessee Highway Patrol units responded to 8610 Cherokee Trail at approximately 6:38 p.m. to a reported shooting. Cumberland County Sheriff’s ... (click for more)

Opinion

Senator Alexander: A Reasonable Proposal To End The Government Shutdown

A government shutdown is always the wrong idea. It is the wrong idea under President Trump, just as it was the wrong idea under President Obama. Members of Congress should first remember that when a president who has been duly elected by the people of the United States -- whatever you may think of him or her -- has a legitimate objective, it is our responsibility to do everything ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Walmart vs 535 Morons

There is an anonymous paper on the Internet that tells how Walmart could do a better job running America instead of the pompous flops and duds we send to Washington. Please try to connect the dots on Walmart’s 1.6 million employees and the obscene profits that they make versus our 535 members of Congress who blow through money while “WallyWorld” churns out an average of $20-thousand ... (click for more)