Embracing Awkward

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  • Don't Compare Your Deep Cuts to Another Person's Greatest Hits

    Insecurity is something that comes easy to a lot of us. For example, next week I will drive to Atlanta to spend a week with a hundred of my peers and my head will be spinning with anxiety all week.

    The workout crowd will make me feel like I should apply for next season's Biggest Loser.

    The intellectual crowd will make me feel like I read all the wrong books.

    The cool crowd will make me feel like I own all the wrong shoes.

    The problem isn't them, it's me. More specifically it's my heart. Instead of finding the contentment that come from belonging to Christ, my heart looks for it's contentment elsewhere. Belonging to a certain crowd. Being "in" with a certain group of people.

    CS Lewis wrote about this desire to be an insider in one if his most helpful essays, "The Inner Ring." He wrote: "As long as you are governed by that desire you will never get what you want. You are trying to peel an onion; if you succeed there will be nothing left. Until you conquer the fear of being an outsider, an outsider you will remain...The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it."

    Discontentment comes from the self-love that leads to self-comparison and ultimately self-hatred for never quite measuring up or fitting in.

    Contentment, on the other hand, comes from being loved by Christ, therefore enough, and right where you should be.

    Discontentment, in the words of Anne Lamott, comes from comparing your insides to another person's outsides. Forgetting that beneath apparent confidence is deep insecurity, and that beneath insecurity is the insidious pride of having to be somebody.

    Contentment comes from not comparing your deep cuts to another person's greatest hits. Remembering that everyone is carrying a heavy burden, even if their pictures on Facebook say differently.

    The question I often have to pose to my own heart is this: Is Christ enough for me?

    In those rare moments that He is, that is when my heart is free to swim in the waters of contentment, instead of drown in the waters of comparison.