It snowed this weekend. (Total Boone Move) As cold as it is outside, I can’t help but fall in love with the way everything looks. It’s fresh, clean, sparkling, still. It’s like the snow is waiting for us to enjoy it. It’s like the snow is just begging us to make indentations, footprints, snow angles and men. It’s waiting to be loved. And in that way, we’re just like the snow.
I recently wrote a paper on the “great connections” in The Great Gatsby. I haven’t gotten my paper back yet, but either way I am proud of my work. While reading the novel, I noticed how the characters of Nick and Gatsby are so desperately after the same thing–belonging and deep connection. They want to be wanted. The irony of the two characters is that they both want the same thing, go about it different ways, fail in their attempt to get what they want, but end up with a connection in the end–each other. **Spoiler alert** Neither character realizes that they ended up getting the connection they wanted in the end. Nick is too full of himself to see it, and Gatsby dies. So…
So what’s the point?
We’re like the snow and we’re like Nick and Gatsby.
We all want to be wanted.
We all want to be known.
We all want to be loved.
We all want to be bae.
For those of your on twitter, or instagram, or really any form of social media, I’m sure you’ve seen the popular hashtag “bae.” It’s been around for a while now, but has really made a breakthrough in usage over the past few months. BAE: Before Anyone/Anything Else. It’s an endearing term. Ya know, usually used for couples? But if you’re ridin’ solo, like me, you may use #bae in reference to a few things on this list: Starburst Jelly Beans, Chick Fil A, Taylor Swift’s new album, nap time, etc…
It’s fun. To use bae, that is. Whether you’re referring to a specific person, or your love for the original chicken sandwich, you love being able to put significance on whatever you’re referring to. When you really like, love, or are infatuated with someone/something, you’ve got to let everyone know, right? I mean, isn’t that why we tweet? Isn’t that why we use instagram? Isn’t that, to some extent, why I’m blogging?
But, you see, here’s the thing: As much as we love labeling things with #bae, what we really want is to be labeled with #bae.
We want to be before anyone/anything else. I was talking to a friend a few days ago and she said, “I just wish I could be everybody’s number one. I know that I can’t be, but that’s really what we all want. We just want to be everybody’s number one.” And she’s right. There’s nothing like knowing that someone regards you so highly. There’s nothing like knowing that you have someone that cares about you so much. There’s nothing like overhearing someone refer to you as their BFF, main squeeze, homie, etc… It’s great. (Second hand compliments can often be the best type of compliments). And there’s no problem with wanting to be wanted. It’s a part of our DNA
But there is a problem when that want changes our behavior.
There is problem when that want manipulates our thoughts.
There is a problem when that want compels us to speak out of turn.
Ephesians talks about how we are saved through grace and not of works so that no one can boast. And we love to boast. If there was an olympic category called “pride” every single one of us could take the gold. And when we boast, we feel good. (Not always, but usually). It’s fun to talk about the things we’ve done. It’s nice to relive and retell the stories of our lives. It’s exhilarating to have a room full of people waiting and hanging on your every word. So we boast and we boast. We want to feel import. We boast because sometimes we get caught up in thinking that it’s all about us.
But it’s not.
We’re not #bae. We can’t be. If we could be #bae–truly be #bae–we wouldn’t need Jesus and the very foundation of our salvation would unravel. The pressure to literally be before anyone/anything else is too much. We couldn’t handle it. Our imperfection prevents that. Fortunately, the true #bae position has already been filled. It’s been filled by Jesus–the author and finisher of our faith, perfection, our example of righteousness. And whether we recognize it or not, He will always be #bae because that’s exactly where He belongs.
[Thanks, Jesus. You’re great]