I did it my way

Maybe that wasn't such a great idea.

MONTANA — Greetings from the Big Sky Country.

Most of you have probably heard the Frank Sinatra song, “My Way.” He recorded the song in 1968 and it was a big hit in the U.S. and the UK.

In fact it became his signature song for the rest of his career.

It has an appealing message. (If you haven’t heard it, you can check it out here.)

But let’s take a closer look.

“And now the end is near
So I face the final curtain
My friends, I’ll say it clear
And state my case of which I’m certain

I’ve lived a life that’s full
I’ve traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way.”

As successful as the song was, it’s interesting to note that his daughter, Tina Sinatra, said that her father hated the song. “He always thought that song was self-serving and self-indulgent,” she said.

I was glad to learn he felt that way because “My Way” isn’t always the best way.

To be honest, it is seldom the best way.

An understanding of human nature can be helpful in understanding that.

Just consider the thousands of years of recorded human history we have available to us. Do those records reveal that mankind is good and wonderful and gentle? Or do those records reveal that man has some serious problems?

The Bible teaches that all of us are sinners.

“… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 3:23

When mankind pursues “My Way” instead of “God’s Way” history shows the results can be horrific.

In fact the original judgment on mankind (the flood) was because …

“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Genesis 6:5

And after the nation of Israel was created, God often had to judge them for their descent into wickedness.

A common description of the causes of descent was …

“Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Judges 17:6, Judges 21:25

“These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations”
Isaiah 66:3

Even if we ignore the “long ago” past and just focus on the last century, we would have to explain how people’s governments have managed to kill more than 100 million of their own people, tortured and enslaved millions, and conducted horrifying medical experiments.

And that doesn’t count the wars, the butchering of babies in the womb, or forcing people into slave labor.

But the people doing it were pursuing “My Way.”

Despite the popularity of the song, if you understand the words, you’ll realize it’s a prescription for eternal disaster.

The Bible tells us what happens when we live “My Way.”

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
Proverbs 14:12

If you had to choose … and you do have to choose … between living life “My Way” or living life “God’s Way” which road would you take?

God offers you an opportunity to follow His way that leads to eternal life.

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”
John 1:12

Then you will be able to sing, “I Did It God’s Way.”

In his book, Up From Slavery, Booker T. Washington shares what it felt like to not have a family tree to look back on.

As a history teacher I encourage people who truly want to learn, to read original documents. Don’t expect that a paragraph in Wikipedia or a page in a school textbook will give you an understanding of an historical period.

Take the Pilgrim’s coming to and settling in America. There are many today who want to tell you why they came and what they did and how awful they were. Most of those people don’t have have any knowledge of history at all. They just want to spout a political viewpoint.

But if you want to know about the Pilgrims, I have a suggestion for you.

Read the book, Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford. Bradford was one of the people on the Mayflower and would serve as governor of the colony several times. He describes life in the Netherlands, the trip on the Mayflower, and the struggles to establish a colony in the New World.

This is where you should begin your study of the Pilgrims. You can read more sources later but I think this is an excellent starting place and I highly recommend the book.

You can pick the book up for free online in various archives. If you prefer to have a Kindle version of the book, I’ve included a link below.

AmazonLink

Here are some stories I found interesting last week. You might want to check them out.

The New Loyalty Oaths” by Kenin M Spivak. I really hope this isn’t true. The author indicates that many universities now require job applicants to swear to make the progressive idea of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” their passion or they will not be considered for a job. If true, this is not good for society.

Baby delivered at 21 weeks and 1 day breaks record for most premature infant to survive?” This is an amazing story about a medical “miracle” that saved a baby. But it should lead us to question if we are just eliminating a “mass of tissue” or if we are brutally murdering a human being when we abort a baby?

Vietnam Vet Loses Purple Heart Medal - Until Good Samaritan Finds It 38 Years Later, Tracks Him Down” by Michael Wing. I was impressed with the man who found the medals in a glass jar and then took the effort to track down the recipient of the medals.

Before I go I’d like to share a blessing with you from the Old Testament.

“May the Lord bless and protect you; may the Lord’s face radiate with joy because of you; may he be gracious to you, show you his favor, and give you his peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26 (The Living Bible)

Until next time … be the reason someone smiles today!

Clint