Emptiness. This word rings with sadness. All too frequently people talk about the emptiness of their lives. People say “ is this all there is too life?” or “ I wasn’t born to just pay bills and work”. The repetition of the daily grind, although necessary to survive, can be depressing and internally depleting. Emptiness doesn’t discriminate either. People from all walks of life, rich and poor, can struggle with it.
Something empty is usually in jeopardy. Think about a car running on “E”, an empty refrigerator, an empty wallet, or an empty well . Emptiness indicates thats something is missing. This same is true with people. However, it’s not something tangible that people lack. Even people with houses, cars, and money feel empty. So what can it be?
Most people struggle to identify what will bring them joy and fulfillment. People look for the next promotion, the next bonus, the nicer car, the better school, the best grades, or a nicer apartment. Ironic as it may seem, most people are trying too hard to overcome emptiness. Maybe the “next” achievement is not the solution. Perhaps, fulfillment comes from something different. Fulfillment shouldn’t have to be sustained with constant achievements. In fact, the chase for more often leads people to less.
Pinpointing exactly what brings fulfillment is not easy. It’s also very personal. That is why I want to share a brief, personal story about my struggle with emptiness. Warning: My story contains references to Jesus and his endless love. If you don’t want to continue reading, at the very least, walk away from this post knowing that feeling empty is common. More importantly, remember that there is a resolution!
My Personal Story
As a contributor to this blog I often try to conceal personal stories or biased words of wisdom. However, I feel compelled to share what brings fulfillment in my life. This is Jesus and his outpouring of love. Like most people, I have struggled with emptiness. I have tried to excel at work, school, and sports. I have always put great effort into my pursuits . Although, at times there were great moments of joy, my achievements were never enough to sustain these feelings of fulfillment.
As I had distanced myself from Jesus during college and for sometime afterwards, I found myself more empty. I was actually very aware of the correlation between my growing emptiness and the distance I had put between myself and Jesus. However, I continued to try and utilize my own experiences and achievements to bring about fulfillment. Guess what? This failed miserably.
I was sick of always chasing the next achievement to only feel depleted soon after. Running on “E” took too much energy and was not working. I knew that returning to a life filled with Jesus was the only resolution. As soon as I surrendered my failures to Jesus and confessed that he was all that could bring about fulfillment, my life was altered.
I realized it wasn’t about me at all. There was no way I could achieve anything great enough to bring genuine fulfillment. Fortunately, Jesus’ death on the cross was that achievement. I began to realize the truth and magnitude of God’s love. He wanted me to be fulfilled. He wanted me to have passion, energy, and joy. However, much like a father dealing with a resistant son, I wasn’t open to God’s intervention. It was only a matter of time before I returned with my head down, asking for Jesus’s help. He was there.
Do you want to end the chase and stop running on “E”!