In 1969, Frank Sinatra recorded the big hit My Way. It climbed the charts in America and sat at number one in the U.K. for 75 weeks. It was recorded by other big artists including Elvis Presley. It is a song of reflection, of how a life was lived.
When I look back at most of my life, my successes and failures, this song could be my anthem. A memorial to who I was. No matter what I see, I can testify, it was my way.
But is that what I really want? Is my way the best way? I know it’s mine and like the stained white bath robe my wife hates, I want to keep it.
So I’m in a battle right now. A battle within myself. It’s a battle that can only be won by surrender. It’s fought in my daily quiet time where I wrestle with my own determination. As Jacob wrestled at Peniel. As Jesus wrestled at Gethsemane.
He had it all…
When the rich young ruler came to Jesus he seemed to have it all. Wealth, reputation and honor. But something was missing. He was unfulfilled. He came to Jesus to figure out what he lacked. What he lacked was surrender.
When encouraged to give it all up for Christ and His way, the young man left sad because he had much. He had a monument to his successes. He had a monument to himself. Jesus encouraged him to trade that in for what God wanted him to be.
Think of what you have. It might be a little or a lot. Whatever it is, it’s everything. Are you willing to forfeit it all for the cause of Christ?
What about your dreams, your plans or your ambitions? Is Jesus in that? Is the cross involved? Will you do it your way or His?
He gained it all…
At the turn of the 20th century, the British missionary, A.W. Milne, packed his belongings and set sail to a Pacific Island inhabited by headhunters. His belongings were not packed in trunks or cases, but in his personal coffin. His ticket was one way. He said goodbye to everyone and everything he knew because he would never see them again.
He lived among the people of New Hebrides for 35 years. When he died they buried him in the middle of their village. On his tombstone they wrote, “When he came here there was no light, when he left there was no darkness.”
Writing my own epitaph…
What will be written on my tombstone? Will it be “My Way” or “Christ’s Way”? That will be determined in my daily battle. In my quiet time.
And when I surrender, I win!