Good day to each of you reading this column on the above subject.

Before we get into the subject, I wish to take you back when music was so very different, lyrics were written with thought and vocalists could be understood.

Yes, I am sure that many of you may disagree with the many artists that have come on the music scene but you must agree that they did not have the staying power or the mere respect of a Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, The Dorseys, Nelson Riddle, Count Basie and so many others to grace the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s.

So what does that have to do with subject—well the song Then Was Then and Now is Now was written by Peggy Lee and Cy Coleman in 1964 and Ms. Lee released the song on an album of the same name in 1965.

I thought the words to this song are so fitting for the beginning of 2021:

Then was then
And now is now
Don’t look back
You can’t look back somehow
Sweet was sweet
But not so bitter now
Then was then
And now is now
You forgive
And I will too
Let’s forget
Unhappy times we knew
We’ll come out
All shiny, bright, and new
Then was then
And now is now
Now, now we can win
No matter what might have been
Now we can begin again
For then was then
And now is now.

I am somewhat nostalgic for I like things with substance, thought and meaning and thank God every day for my parents who provided this type of music as I grew up.
When reading these words, each phrase gives us what was and what it will be if we don’t look back. I think the great Satchel Paige, Hall of Fame Baseball Pitcher, said it best, “Don’t look back, Something might be gaining on you.”

When reading about Mr. Paige, I came across the following:

Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

The most forceful warning about avoiding looking backward appeared in the biblical story of Lot’s wife. She was told by an angel to flee the city of Sodom and to not look backward. When she disobeyed this injunction she was transformed into a pillar of salt.

In 1888 a humorously garbled version of this tale was retold by a child:

A little five-year-old who had been to Sunday school for the first time came home puffed up with importance over what he had learned. “Mamma,” said he, “do you know about Lot’s wife?” “A little,” she said, “but tell me what you know.” So the little fellow told his story very earnestly, becoming positively dramatic when he reached the climax and said: “And the angel of the Lord said unto Lot’s wife, skate for your life and don’t you look back, but she did look back and turned a somersault.”

In 1907 a high school valedictorian in Coffeyville, Kansas delivered a speech containing distinct but thematically related advice:

They never look back, never stop to consider what they have accomplished, only what they will be able to accomplish in their allotted time. They know that if they stop to reap or look back someone will fill their place and when the lead is once lost it is almost impossible to regain it.

Then was then and now is now but one thing for sure, the Bible never changes as it stood the test of time and continues to stand with each passing moment.

The Bible warns us not to look back and a great example is Lot’s wife, but we are like the cat where “curiosity got the cat”. We simply could have taken the advice of Mr. Paige by not looking back, but our curiosity got the best of us and Satan gained on us.

King Solomon said it best in Ecclesiastes 7:10 (NIV) Do not say, Why were the old days better than these?” For it not wise to ask such questions.

Consider what God has done:

When times are good, be happy;
But when times are bad, consider:
God has made the one
As well as the other.
Therefore, a man cannot discover
Anything about his future.

The conclusion of the matter: In the good times, always give God the credit and in the bad times, thank God for the good that comes out of it. Simple, no but when life is uncontrollable and evil is gaining upon you, don’t despair—God is ALWAYS THERE—in the good times and in the bad times.

And the rest of the story:

And now is now
Now, now we can win
No matter what might have been
Now we can begin again
For then was then
And now is now.

Because God has said:

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

May you bless God in all you say and all that you do

Jeff

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