Frank Sinatra recorded a hit song and to this day this song best identifies the life of the iconic music and film star. But did you know the song in its foreign debut was about the end of a love affair?
Sharing a meal together, Frank Sinatra asked Paul Anka to write him a song. Anka took the challenge and began the metamorphosis of an unusual tune, then known “As Usual” a French song, and made it into the major hit it became for Sinatra; “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 of, I’ve traveled each and every highway; And more, much more than this, I did it my way.”
This song has a great melody and rises to its crescendo “I did it my way.” This song conveys the independence, confidence and braggadocio Americans love and partly why we have the reputation of being bold and arrogant around the world. Sinatra, however, did not like the song even though he often would be called back to the stage to perform the song for his encore.
Simon and Garfunkel’s famous “I Am a Rock” states; “I touch no one and no one touches meI am a rockI am an island, and a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries.” This song conveys a similar attitude as “My Way” but Simon’s ending details the reality of feeling alone. Perhaps the single most cruel status one can find oneself is being alone and without hope.
But simply said, you and I were not created, intended, or designed to live as an island to ourselves in the sea of humanity.
People were created by God to have relationships with one another. The most important relationship you should have is with God through His Son Jesus Christ. After this, family, friends, “neighbors” and even strangers need our friendship.
How are your relationships? Do you have a relationship with God? Do you have friends? Are they the right type of friends for you? The Bible describes the way to have friends; “A man that has many friends must show himself to be friendly…” (Proverbs 18:24).
In their book, The Generosity Factor, authors Ken Blanchard and S. Truett Cathy detail the virtues of giving what God has blessed each person with.
Every person has been given some quality, some capacity to give to others. You have been given an abundance of time, talent, treasure, or touch and if I may add one to Blanchard and Cathy’s list it would be tenderness.
One can live by the adage, “Get all you can, can all you get and keep all you can” but this philosophy leads to a splintered person. Vexed by selfishness and never to learn that contentment and happiness can be enjoyed. A selfish person loses out on the greatest satisfaction known to the human soul – purpose and contentment.
Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure-pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38). Do you give grudgingly or with an attitude of generosity? Do you know that it is by your “standard of measure” that God gives back to you?
Do you have an abundance of time but little or no money? Give your time to a church, nursing home, school, perhaps the little senior who sits at home – alone. Your time is the greatest gift to someone.
Perhaps you have an abundance of money but little time. Give a portion of your abundance to meet needs. Those that have the Midas touch can use their gifting to further the works that meet real needs.
Mother Teresa blessed others with her gifts of touch and tenderness. To those who needed it the most, she combined the treasure of others with her time, talent, touch, and tenderness and changed the lives of thousands upon thousands and encouraged millions of others.
Tenderness is the ability to be empathetic, to listen without judgment, to encourage. Empathy is not sympathy. Empathy is simply identifying with and encouraging another. No one should be envious of another’s gifting or capacity. Use the gift(s) you have and stop being envious of another’s gifting.
Frank Sinatra came to loathe the song he made famous, but it was too late – that song became his persona. He was never designed or equipped to do it “My Way” and neither are we.
You have been created, designed with a gifting, and a call to purpose. You can do it your way but it is better to do it His way. It is your choice, Your Way or His Way.