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.


The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Hosts Day Of Service

Harold G. Koenig, M.D. To Lead "The Book of Life" End-of-Life Care Training For Area Faith Leaders, Physicians

Bob Tamasy: The Saddest Verse In The Bible


Over 160 women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the greater Chattanooga area participated in 18 different service projects throughout the community on March 9. The women ... (click for more)

Nationally known authority on spirituality, health and loss, Harold G. Koenig, M.D., will lead “The Book of Life,” an all-day training conference to equip area faith leaders and medical providers ... (click for more)

One of the distinctives about the Bible is its candor, its unvarnished presentation of the failures and foibles of its principal characters. There’s no airbrushing, no whitewashing of even the ... (click for more)


Church

The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Hosts Day Of Service

Over 160 women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the greater Chattanooga area participated in 18 different service projects throughout the community on March 9. The women offered support to the Chambliss Center for Children, McKamey Animal Center, the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, Cleveland Summit Apartments, the Humane Educational Society, the Chattanooga Zoo, ... (click for more)

Harold G. Koenig, M.D. To Lead "The Book of Life" End-of-Life Care Training For Area Faith Leaders, Physicians

Nationally known authority on spirituality, health and loss, Harold G. Koenig, M.D., will lead “The Book of Life,” an all-day training conference to equip area faith leaders and medical providers in offering end-of-life care, scheduled for Tuesday, April 2, at the UTC University Center. Originally for clergy and faith leaders, this year’s conference has been expanded to included ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Coppinger Says Sewage Treatment Issue "Has Gotten Totally Out Of Control. It's Totally Political"

County Mayor Jim Coppinger charged Wednesday that the sewage treatment issue facing the county "has gotten totally out of control. It has become totally political." He said, "The people who deal with this every day are telling us one thing and we are responding differently." The County Commission voted earlier 5-4 not to approve a site on Mahan Gap Road that had been recommended ... (click for more)

Highland Park Woman Carjacked, Strangled; 2 Arrests Made

A Highland Park woman out looking for her dog was carjacked and strangled, police said. Police later spotted the vehicle and arrested Kermyca Hester, 18, of 2801 Taylor St., and a juvenile male. In the incident on Monday evening, the woman said she was in her car on Union Avenue trying to spot the dog when two people came along and said they had seen the dog and would help ... (click for more)

Opinion

Keep The Electoral College

In 1950 there were 12 urban areas in the United States that had one million or more citizens. In 2010, 41 had more than one million in population and this number is projected to grow to 53 by 2030 (Source: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division). And currently more than 85 percent of our population is clustered into cities. Of the ten most ... (click for more)

Thank You, Senator Alexander, For Protecting Our Health

The American Lung Association in Tennessee is grateful to Senator Alexander for opposing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to weaken the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Mercury causes permanent damage to the brains of babies and unborn children, leading to developmental delays, learning disabilities and birth defects. Power plants also emit more than 80 other ... (click for more)