The Word for today:
(Note: This article was first published on this date three years ago.)
Yesterday, we re-played the prideful post-mortem self-satire that the song “I Did It My Way” has become for many Americans. As I said then…
My purpose is not to diss the defenseless dead. (God knows I’ve got more pride than any five people, combined.) What I mean to do is marvel at how ridiculous pride makes all of us look, whether we’re dead or alive.
Before I became a Bible blogger, whenever “My Way” started playing, I heard the great Robert Burns whispering “To A Louse” in my other ear:
Now, Bible-banging blogger that I’ve become, when I hear “My Way” I hear the last verse in Judges:
In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
And, even more clearly, I can’t help but hear words spoken by the only person who ever truly and absolutely lived his life on terms that were of his own choosing.
And what were those terms? Let’s listen:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” (John 5:19)
"My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.” (John 7:16)
"When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.” (John 8:28)
“For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment--what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me." (John 12:49-50)
How sublime an irony—that the only one who refused to do it his way was the only one who ever did.
My mother died this morning. She was 97 years old and when she passed away, she went as peacefully as she had lived. Her departure was no more remarkable than if she had stepped over a threshold from one room into another.
For seventy years she was a Mom and for fifty years she was a nurse, so her life was never her own. To the degree that anyone this side of Jesus Christ can ever claim, she never lived life “her way.”
I shall love her forever, to infinity and beyond. I will not miss her forever, but only until we shall meet again.
And we shall, because He said so:
"The Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment--what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life."