“I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.” ~ Anne Frank
Anne Frank was a Jewish teenager who went into hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. While she was in hiding, she kept a journal of her experiences, the bad as well as the good. Two years after going into hiding, in 1945, she died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Her journal was published some time after her death as The Diary of Anne Frank.
In her writings, we get a glimpse of that time when people had to flee or hide in fear of the Nazis. Their lives were extremely difficult and those who were found often faced immediate execution or a slower death in the concentration camps. Those who provided sanctuary for the people in hiding were often summarily executed as well.
In the midst of all of that, one would think that there would be no way that a person would focus on the positive. Yet, those who survived their experiences in the death camps — as well as those who survived similar circumstances throughout the ages — would report almost all the time that it was their focus on the good and the positive that carried them through their misery and gave them hope for the future.
We have all experienced that, to a much lesser degree, of course, when we have been seriously ill or perhaps injured. After our surgeries or throughout our convalescence, we would come to the realization that our recovery would be better if we focused on the positive rather than on the negative. If all we focused upon was our hurt and our incapacity, we would take longer to heal because we would not try. If, instead, we focused on daily triumphs, no matter how small they might be, we would find our recovery moving along much quicker and with less problems.
Thus we come to our faith lives. We are on a journey to the Kingdom of God. If we look at all the pitfalls in our faith lives, we will tend to give up and quit trying. We will fall into the trap of continued sin and the health of our souls will spiral downward. But if we look at the bright side of our faith lives, we will want to do more for our Lord. That doing more will lead us to more spiritual success and we will find our souls rejoicing at the opportunity to attempt even more.
Big or little? Success or failure? Triumphs or tragedies? That which we choose to focus upon will determine our strides or our falls.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who focus too much on the miseries in life, that they might be able to find the positive in situations so as to make it through.