What I Learned from ‘My Way’

President & Mrs Trump dance to" My Way"

JIM WATSON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

President Trump danced to this song at his inauguration ball, not once but twice. I saw a lot of negativity from the Christian community on this choice, but can I be honest? This song is dear to my heart.

When I was a young girl, I heard the song and bought the 45. I would play it over and over again. I preferred Elvis Presley’s rendition when I heard it a few years later, and it got me through some tough times in life.

I learned a lot from that song, the chief lesson being that there are consequences for our actions and we should face them standing tall – not in defiance, but in acceptance; as a lesson to learn then move on with the knowledge of what should not be repeated. Did I always remember this lesson? I wish I could say yes. Unfortunately, some lessons need to be hammered home through repeated consequences.

Yet, it was because of this song that I could press on in life, find my way to the right solution (which we all know is in Messiah).

I also learned that I should not be afraid to try to do those things that are in my heart and my mind. As I became a believer, I realized God planted those things for His purpose. I also learned that there would be times of doubt, but that I should not cave, but face the doubt full on.

From this song, I learned that life is a gift that I should live to the fullest. As a believer, we know that life truly is a gift. In fact, it could be this very song gave me the courage to stand against an adult abortion counselor. I was 16, pregnant, and unmarried. Not a good place for a believer to be, but again, our action has consequences.

Because this song was in my heart, I stood against this woman who tried every argument to get me to agree to abort my son. You see, I knew that the pregnancy was a result of my actions, but it wasn’t the baby’s fault. He should not have to pay with his life because of my mistake. Even when she argued that just carrying the baby to term then giving him up would negatively affect me the rest of my life, it did not matter. I had to do what I knew was right. I had to do it my way.

Here are the lyrics, by Paul Anka:

My Way Frank SinatraAnd 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
Oh, and more, much more than this
I did it my way

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption

I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
Had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all so amusing

To think I did all thatMy Way Elvis Presley
And may I say, not in a shy way
“Oh no, oh no not me
I did it my way”

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way

I learned from this song that there would be mistakes along the way. That there would be things I regret. That it is part of life. That repentance for those mistakes, those sins against God and man is the key to moving forward and making amends whenever possible.

The final stanza of the song taught me to be honest. Sometimes I was brutally honest, which is not a good thing, so that would fall under the ‘consequences’ and ‘repentance’ categories of lessons. J

Also in the final stanza the song refers to ‘not speaking the words of one who kneels’. I never understood this to mean not kneeling to the Lord, but not yielding to persecution. That after all is said and done, I must remain standing, as the Apostle Paul says, “having done all, to stand.”

 

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4 Responses to What I Learned from ‘My Way’

  1. James January 22, 2017 at 12:10 pm #

    I love that song and prefer Sinatra’s version. Go figure.

    I’m sure Anka wasn’t thinking of devotion to God when he wrote it, but in the end, God doesn’t make our decisions for us, we do. Our free will is intact, so whatever acts we commit for good or for ill, we must be prepared to face the consequences.

    Hopefully when the end is near, we can each look back at a life well lived, and look forward to the life in the world to come.

    • Ro Pinto January 22, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

      Both versions are great. I think it was the powerful ending in Presley’s version that blew me away, especially at that time of my life.

      I looked up the song on Wikipedia and it was actually written for Sinatra, with his vernacular in mind – mobsteresque (if there is such a word).

      If we will learn from our mistakes, looking them square in the face rather than hiding behind Yeshua’s cross and making excuses instead of apologies, we may one day hear, “Well done.”

      You nailed it, James. We are the ones who make the decisions.

  2. Questor February 21, 2017 at 5:21 pm #

    My first impression of the song when I first heard it was…”yes, that’s me!”

    Because it was, and is, for all of us a simple statement of our uniqueness, and having our own convoluted path to walk.

    It can be seen as being arrogant, I suppose, but dancing to the beat of your own drummer is not an issue of pride, but of courage.

    • Ro Pinto March 6, 2017 at 7:08 am #

      Yes, Questor, courage can appear as pride. Yet it is that very courage that we need to walk away from paganism, or worldliness, and follow Messiah.

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