Monday, April 18, 2016

My way

Recently I was blessed to hear and excellent motivational speech. It included a lot of good principles for being a good decision maker and creating a positive, productive atmosphere. At the end of the speech the presenter shared a video to illustrate the last point: "Choose happiness." In the video, there was a drummer who absolutely stole the show. A young woman was singing, but the drummer was having so much fun they moved the camera to watch him. He really was choosing to enjoy himself:


But I could not completely enjoy the moment; I got distracted by the song choice in the video.

My Way is a ballad written by Paul Anka and popularized by Frank Sinatra. It has a catchy melody, builds to a powerful crescendo, and has very proud, even defiant lyrics. I have no doubt that many successful people have considered it to be their anthem as they have looked back over their lives. I know I have heard of it being sung at funerals.

How sad.
"I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway, and more, much more than this, I did it my way."
"Through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up, and spit it out. I faced it all, and I stood tall, and did it my way."
And saddest of all, the ending...
 "For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has not...The record shows, I took the blows, and did it my way."
The anthem of successful people? More like the anthem of the road to hell.

The Scriptures could not be any clearer on what has separated us from our Creator. Start with the garden, where the man and woman decide they know more than God and are going to choose their food their way. A few chapters later, humanity declares "My way!" and tries to build a tower as a monument to themselves - the Tower of Babel. The children of Israel cry out "My way! My way! My way!" as they worship false gods over and over, finding themselves in Babylonian  exile.

On and on it goes. Rulers build empires and kingdoms. Businessmen build large successful corporations. Politicians manipulate the system to their own gain.

But before we point fingers at the powerful...we all do it, don't we? We base families on the sand of giving our children a better (more comfortable) life - we do it our way. We spend our leisure time and our money on whatever makes us happy. We make minute by minute choices based on our way, without a thought of our higher purpose.

All the while subconsciously singing along with Ol' Blue Eyes.

You and I were created for a purpose. Like the rest of the universe, we are designed to reflect the glory of God. What a messed up world we've created by our insistence on our own way. What if more and more of us realized that "my way" is a dead end? That we were made in the image of God and should reflect that image? That we are not like the sun, giving out our own light, but like the moon, reflecting the light of the sun?

It will happen in totality one day, when all who have ever lived will bow down before Jesus. (see Philippians 2:9-11 and Revelation 5:6-14) In the meantime I pray that you and I will, with God's help, live life, not our way, but his way.

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