The days of the Crooners were a bit before my time, but I still love the old movies with them as the stars. Of the best well known, Frank Sinatra probably had one of the longest careers among them. One of his (many) hit songs was “I Did It My Way”.
Now if that’s not the American motif, I don’t know what is.
Not to dis Old Blue Eyes, but really, we all have that one in us. Even the Most Beautiful Three Year Old On The Planet, (our eldest granddaughter), showcases her opinion of her opinion…regularly. Actually, the Most Fabulous Infant In The Universe, (our other granddaughter), already does the same thing….loudly.
Certainly, I see it in myself—uncomfortably so, I am quick to add. It rears its ugly head (and it can get pretty ugly) in all sorts of relationships: with my children, friends, Bob…God. Even with myself. (Think about that one for a minute—all sorts of repercussions there.)
Culturally, this attitude of “doing it my way” spills over into our theology as well. Truth is often defined by opinion, rather like one who prefers ice cream over Brussel sprouts. (After all, I know which one I would choose.) Even if I accept the Christian definition of truth, it’s still an easy trap to try and “earn” God’s acceptance by my own goodness, rather than that of Jesus alone. Which means I’m still trying to do it my way.
However, even in the Old Testament, God was setting us up for this. Here the Hebrews were (still) getting ready to head into the Promised Land. But to live there, they are told~~
“Your pattern of worship will change….you must bring everything I command you— your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, your sacred offerings, and your offerings to fulfill a vow— to the designated place of worship, the place the LORD your God chooses for his name to be honored.”
BINGO. They couldn’t do it “their way” anymore. If they wanted to live in God’s presence, they had to do it God’s way.
New Testament interpretation: Jesus is God’s way. Period. Not crystals. Not Buddha. Not Mohammed. Not reductionism. Not capitalism.
Not even the Republican Party. (Wow. I might take some heat for that one…)
The only way to live and move and have our true being in God’s salvific presence is in Jesus alone. It’s one of the many things I so appreciate about Jesus—His directness.
“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’”
This is in no way an intolerant statement, at least not anymore than in saying that “my begonias are red and not lavender” is an intolerant statement. Or the rain is wet, and not dry.
Or that Frankie-baby had unbelievably blue eyes…(swoon.)
Deuteronomy 12:8,11; John 14:6 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.