What goes around comes around

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by Terry Camsey, Major –

The wisest man who ever lived tells us in Ecclesiastes that to everything there is a season. I was reminded of that recently observing the machinations surrounding the candidates in this election year.

No, I am not going to talk politics. But, I do think that we can draw some wisdom from current affairs and apply it if—with untainted observation—we can see beyond the trees to the wood.

Many things are cyclical in the world. What goes around does come around.

It was interesting some 17 years ago when, in the election campaign much seemed to hang on a phrase two presidential candidates used, but slightly differently…

One hung his campaign on the slogan “a bridge to the future.” The other hung his on the slogan “a bridge to the past.”

In the end, voters preferred to look forward rather than back.

Now, all these years later, we find one presidential candidate identifying as the key to the future, while linking the other to the past!

It will be interesting to see this time how, ultimately, the voters decide which way they want to go.

The reality is that we do need both. We need a bridge to the past—but also, a path to the future.

I have written recently regarding use, or rather lack of use, of songs in The Salvation Army Song Book.

Just this last week I read the managing editor’s article in Salvationist in which he expresses concern that there may be “…a danger today of disarming older Salvation Army music because younger generations no longer know the words of the classic songs in the Army songbook or great hymns of the Christian church.”

There used to be a hymnal in England called Hymns Ancient and Modern. Obviously an attempt to keep both the good old hymns and later ones connected.

Almost every music genre has its loved classics that never grow old–standard ballads, big band classics, jazz favorites.

It is interesting that in a recent recording by the internationally known King’s Singers (not linked, I believe, to any specific church), they selected all the music and chose several Salvation Army classics that they thought to be very beautiful and with great spiritual depth. We so often do not ourselves see the “diamonds” in our own back yard as we seek them everywhere else.

So, here’s a challenge for every corps…

For years we have seen and participated in the discipline of reading through the whole Bible in a year. Who will commit to going through the whole Song Book in a year so that we never lose touch with the wealth of songs we have?

In fact, what a difference might this make if we did it every year for a few years.

Maybe we might start seeing the beautiful “wood” and not be put off by the “trees!” It would be such a shame if, due to neglect, the beautiful songs and hymns in our song book were to disappear completely due to our negligence in nurturing and teaching them.

What do you think?

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