"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."
"For the Sake of Old Times."
These first words (loosely translated) are from the famous poem, "Auld Lang Syne," written by Robert Burns, set to the poignant melody of a Scottish folk song, and used as an indelible anthem in many English-speaking countries to usher in a new year.
It's natural at the end of the year to take stock and reflect upon its triumphs and failures. Thoughts of loved ones also drift into my mind.
"Auld Lang Syne" starts with a rhetorical question: Should old friends be forgotten and never thought about again?
Those words immediately focus my thoughts on those who have impacted me. People who influenced me, and now through either time, distance, or death, have faded away.
The poem contains an image of friend linking hand with friend as they "take a cup of kindness yet for auld lang syne".
I would love to link hands with my old friends. To have another minute with them for the sake of "old time" is a strong desire.
However, I must wait until another day for that treat. When my days on Earth are over, I have faith I will see these loved ones once more.
For now, Faith, Family, Friendship--these are the three items I need most for the new year.
This evening, for the sake of all my days which have gone before, I bow my head and give grateful thanks for my life and all the days yet to come.
Happy New Year!
Lord, thank you for your grace, which has given me new life in you.