And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear, I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full, I’ve traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this, I did it my way
Paul Anka, “My Way”, recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1968
In the late 1960’s Frank Sinatra’s career was beginning to slip, his hits were unpredictable, and the future of his career seemed FAR from certain.
Paul Anka wrote the lyrics specifically with Frank in mind. With a certain kind of American bravado in mind. With the World War II generation in mind.
Sinatra’s daughter Tina recalled the first time she heard her father perform the song by saying, “That song became his that first night. I think it was a song waiting for him to happen. An anthem is something that everybody responds to. And the only difference with dad and ‘My Way’ is you don’t have to stand up.”
Although it became Frank’s signature song, Tina later said the singer came to hate the song. “He didn’t like it. That song stuck and he couldn’t get it off his shoe. He always thought that song was self-serving and self-indulgent.”
The song stuck, and he couldn’t get it off his shoe. That’s a pretty poetic description.
Sometimes I wonder why God doesn’t answer my prayer requests my way.
And sometimes, because he doesn’t answer my prayer requests my way, it makes me wonder if he hears my prayers at all. If he pays attention at all. If he cares at all. If he’s even there at all.
I don’t think I’m alone in that.
But this morning I read a scripture passage that included this:
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT
Well, duh. Of COURSE his ways are higher and his thoughts are higher. He’s GOD, after all.
Except—instead of being critical of us ordinary people, the entire 55th chapter of Isaiah is an invitation to the Lord’s salvation. God is wanting to include us in his family, and is encouraging us to come.
Consider these calls from the text: Come and drink. Listen and you will find life. Seek the Lord. Turn to our God for He will forgive generously.
And he follows them with this promise: You will live in joy and peace.
Even The Chairman of the Board—Frank Sinatra—found that doing things “My Way” never led to living in joy and peace.
Today, instead of taking Frank’s advice, follow that of David:
Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land.
Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT