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OUT TO PASTOR: I didn’t do it my way

I don’t think I’ve learned very much during my life. I just bounce from day to day and take what comes.

The one thing I did learn as I look back is, for the most part, I didn’t do it my way.

Remember Frank Sinatra and his song, “I Did It My Way?” I would have liked to ask him, how’s that been working for you?

Whenever we do everything our way, there is a consequence.

You know what they say that for every action, there is a consequence. By the time the consequence hits you in the face, it’s too late to make any changes.

When I ever did something “my way,” it never really worked out.

The other day as I was meditating on this, I thought of how smart I was when I was a teenager. I knew everything; all you had to do was ask me. Sometimes you didn’t even have to ask. I was ready to give my opinion at any time.

If only I were a smart as I thought I was when I was a teenager, everything would be gloriously wonderful. The problem is, I’m not.

I have learned that I don’t have to have everything my way. That was the first thing I learned as a husband. If I get everything my way, somebody in the house is not happy.

As long as I have been with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, she is the only one I know that gets things done her way. Not in a bullying manner, she just seems to know the right thing to do at the right time.

I, on the other hand, cannot even tell time.

Thinking along this line, a memory flashed back. I remember rushing my wife to the hospital to deliver our first baby. I’m not sure who was more nervous, the mother or the expected father.

We got there, and she was escorted back to the delivery room where they would deliver the baby. I paced the lobby, not knowing exactly what I should be doing.

Several hours went by, and I heard nothing concerning the birth of our baby. If I only had my way, I would go back there and see for myself.

Just then, the nurse that took my wife back into the delivery room came out, and I approached her and said, “Can I go and see my wife and baby now?”

After all, I was the father, and I was paying the bill for this baby.

The nurse, who looked like she had just gone through World War II, glared at me and, with a very rough voice, said, “No, you’re not going back there. After all, you’re the one that’s responsible for all of this.”

I did not know what she meant or what she was talking about?

There was not anything I could do but continue waiting. As I sat in the waiting room, I thought, she ought to be very, very, very glad that I was not doing it my way. My way would have been very nasty and ugly for her.

I let that nurse do it her way because she was not significant in my life. For me to let her have it her way did not in any way harm me. I just had to wait a little longer.

Finally, I had the opportunity to go back and see my wife and our first baby. That took away all my memories, at the time, of that nasty nurse who wanted to do everything her way.

I was glad I didn’t do it my way.

On many occasions, I have wanted to give people a piece of my mind to do it my way. Unfortunately, I have run out of pieces of mind. For all things considered, it has turned out to be a good thing.

Many times through life, I allowed the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage to have it her way. Most of the time, her way was the right way. If I would’ve stepped in to do it my way, we would be in a lot of trouble today.

There have been some very wonderful times when her way did not work, and if I would have had my way, things might not have turned out better. But I chose the high road and let her have her way.

Only a few times in my life have I been right, and she has been wrong. I choose not to identify those times for various reasons.

Every once in a while, I sit back and think about a few times when I have been right but did not step up to interfere in the situation. That always causes me to chuckle.

The other night I was chuckling as I was thinking of one in particular, which I cannot disclose, when my wife said, “What are you chuckling about?”

“Oh,” I said, “I was just thinking about a joke.”

“And, what joke was that,” she asked?

“Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7, 8, 9.”

As I sat back in my chair, a verse of Scripture came to mind. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:21).

Some of my happiest times in life are when I’m not doing anything my way. Giving someone else the privilege of doing it their way is a very satisfying thing.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472, where he lives with his wife. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail The church web site is

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