I've been listening...a lot lately...to music that was around decades before my time; those old Jazz and Big Band standards. Some of my favorites are Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, and, of course, Frank Sinatra. Frankie, though (I can call him Frankie, right?), had a song that I find to be very sad. On it's surface, "My Way" seems like it's wonderful song; but in the end, it's a trap that leads to all sorts of unhappiness. The ENTIRE entertainment industry (it seems) is full of the same attitude as reflected in the song: " For what is a man, what has he got If not himself, then he has naught To say the things he truly feels And not the words of one who kneels The record shows I took the blows And did it my way. " Standing up in the face of adversity, bowing down to no one, doing it...MY WAY. There's just one problem with that; if you look at the entertainment industry, since it's foundation, there has been excessive drug, alcohol, and sexual abuses, scandals (near daily it seems), depression, anxiety, and suicide aplenty. If it's so grand, as Frankie suggests, why is no one (or hardly anyone) happy? The problem is when we are our own authority, when WE are the measure of our own destiny, we tend to do what we have since the beginning. We WERE meant to rule, but we always chase after that forbidden fruit. God gave us an authority in the beginning we squandered while chasing what we already had: the image of God, immortality, and authority. In the beginning, we were innocent, pure and perfect enough to do it "OUR WAY": "And God blessed them. And God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'” (Genesis 1:28)
Then, we were the pure and undefiled image of God, creation in perfection. But since that day we chased the forbidden fruit, we've been sinking deeper and deeper in to the self-destructive habits that ultimately destroy us. My way isn't perfect. It isn't good. It isn't right. YET, through Christ Jesus I have a way out. He says "I am the WAY..." (John 14). Jesus as The Way, the only way, is the only real way to satisfaction! He says
"28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11) What would it look like if you stopped doing it "your way" and followed "The Way?"
John 14:1-14 English Standard Version (ESV)
I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life
14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;[a] believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”[c] 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.[d]From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me[e] anything in my name, I will do it.
a. John 14:1 Or You believe in God
b. John 14:2 Or In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you
c. John 14:4 Some manuscripts Where I am going you know, and the way you know
d. John 14:7 Or If you know me, you will know my Father also, or If you have known me, you will know my Father also
e. John 14:14 Some manuscripts omit me