anne frank was wrong.

{found via pinterest from flickr}

don't worry, i'll get to anne frank. just stick with me for a minute.

yesterday my thought patterns were all over the place. from gratitude for my husband and the years we've spent together, to gratitude for a good and tiring morning with my two little miracles, to ruminating on a book i recently finished about what's next for me vocationally, to thinking i don't have enough of anything i need to actually make a business venture work.

i spent most of the day grateful, but by the end of it i felt defeated. defeated over stupid things that may or may not be true. i felt defeated, and like i'm nowhere close to enough.

i'm really sick of the felt need we have in our culture to feel and act superior to other people. i know life is not a competition. and more than that, i feel like a fraud when i treat it like it is because i know how much i fall short.

i like to think that my blind spots and weaknesses aren't as big of a deal as other people's blind spots and weaknesses. but they are. they are, and in some ways they're worse because i have a lot more control over mine than anyone else's.

but it all feels like a competition. and despite my crazy-competitive nature, i don't want life to be a competition.

competition can be a good thing. it can be a very good thing, but one person winning in life doesn't mean everyone {or anyone} else necessarily has to lose. we live like it matters whether we "win" in our little tiny definition of that word. we say we can all win, but we live like we don't care about the rest of the poor schmucks in the world.

if i'm being honest then i'll tell you that sometimes when other people have really good news i'm not fully happy for them because it makes me feel like less than enough. but that's on me. that's my failing.

and if you didn't already notice, that means i need a whole lot of grace.

as humans we can be poor in a whole host of different ways. too often we focus on money. we focus on it if we have an abundance, we focus on it if we don't have enough. we even focus on how to get more of it in order to keep up with all the people around us. we can fall prey to the trappings of this world no matter where we live in it. and i do. i do all the time.

i do even though i don't want to, and i actively push back against it in many areas of life.
blind spots. i'm telling you.

last night when i was saying goodnight to keane he grabbed me around the neck when i leaned down to kiss him goodnight, and he said "mommy you're stuck, you can't get out." so i just lay my head next to him for a minute and told him how much i love him. at one point he just said "you're my mommy." and i told him - "yep. i'm your mommy and adele's mommy, and i wouldn't change that for the world."

in that moment i felt like i was doing okay. but many moments of many days, i don't.

this world will pass away. there's no sense in staking much of anything on the things of this world. but the souls of this world will find rest with God at the end of it, or they will live eternally without him.

i have been realizing more and more how much of a mess everything is in this world.

i've recently seen the deeper reality of some of the lies that the world and our culture feed to us every single day. i've understood some of them at another level than before.

this isn't to say that i don't have any blind spots. i know they're still there. but this world is so messed up.

we watched "the big short" a few nights ago, and it threw me for a loop. it made me realize the depth of our selfishness. power corrupts. and the insidious thing we don't really allow ourselves to get is that anyone can fall into that pit. i like to think i'm immune to that, but i'm not. {if you don't believe me just google "stanford prison experiment"}

i'm incredibly selfish, and if i don't have anyone to check me, i can start getting really entitled. ahem. i DO start getting really entitled. i start talking about what i deserve, and how come this, that, and the other thing are not about me.

and this is where anne frank {finally} comes in. there's a quote from the diary of anne frank that gets thrown around a lot. a quote that says: "despite everything, i believe people are really good at heart."

we cling to that quote because we want it to be true. and i think she really did believe it, and she really did want it to be true.

but she was wrong.

we are broken and messed up. we are incredibly incredibly selfish. we are not really good at heart. we are really broken. and you may not want to believe that. you may flat-out reject it. but i think deep down we each know it to be true of ourselves. we know that we are the chief of the selfish people in this world, and we are each in need of a savior.

we've been taught that we can save ourselves. and we keep trying. we keep striving, and striving, and striving, and we keep falling short. we keep thinking "if only i could do this"; "if only i could get there"; "if only...". but the people that have gotten there will tell you that it's not all they imagined it to be.

if nothing in this world can satisfy, then we must have been made for another world. {c.s. lewis said something like this. probably not verbatim, but also not my original idea.}

anne frank was wrong. we are not really good at heart. and we were made for more than this.
both. simultaneously.
because our shortcomings are covered by our creator. our hearts can be changed.
we need only to ask to be transformed.

hear me though - this is not an easy fix. because it will not be easy to be live differently. our selfishness will continue to pull us. our brokenness will not be fully healed. scars and struggles will remain.

we were made for another world.
and until we get there we will still have struggles.

but our savior has overcome the world.
we don't have to strive for what the world says we need.
it will not satisfy.

we can be free from the rat race.
we can be free to be thankful for what we've been given, all while recognizing that we will all return to dust at the end of the day.

the things of this world will not satisfy.
we can be grateful for what they are, but we have to keep them in their proper place.

anne frank was wrong. people are not really good at heart. but God is good. we don't have to believe in the goodness of our fellow man to trust that God is good, and that he is in control of his creation.

we don't have to believe in the goodness of our humankind to have a reason to hope. when we hope in man we will be disappointed every. single. time.

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. they will rise up on wings like eagles. they will run and not grow weary. they will walk and not grow faint. {isaiah 40:31}

please forgive the long-windedness today.


most popular