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Emptiness

Empty! The streets of the city seemed striped, bare, and void. The many doors and windows of houses were locked, and the usual busyness of the day had halted. A ghostly breeze flew past, rustling a few dry leaves from a creaky lifeless tree. The hazy skies overlooked the deserted city sullenly like an ill-tempered old man. An owl hooted in the distance and the eerie sound echoed in multiple places in the nothingness.

Many people’s lives look a lot like this picture. Emptiness and hollowness reigns supreme. For many people, their lives all seemed a well-watered garden blooming in the noonday, till a significant life challenge came to unsettle the equilibrium. Now the boat is rocked; they need someone to settle the waters. 

Several things could make our once interesting lives, crumpled into a sequence of trite activities; a grief over the loss of a dear loved one could make us feel so terribly empty that we contemplate taking our own lives. An abusive relationship could linger for several years. After a long saga, it could wind up in a divorce, leaving both spouses scattered and unfulfilled. Persistent failures repeated sexual molestation, midlife crises, illness of a loved one, and a host of other life’s woes could rob us of the joy and sizzling excitement of life. 

People try to fill this void by engaging in several addictive indulgences like drugs, smoking, drinking, gambling, wild parties and all sort. 

In John C. Thomas’ book, How Juvenile Violence Begins: Spiritual Emptiness, he argues that youth in impoverished indigenous communities who feel empty may turn to fighting and aggressive crime to fill their sense of meaninglessness”. What a great way to derive meaningfulness! 

Many others resort to wholesome endeavors like getting themselves buried in their jobs or trying out numerous psychological strategies. This might not be far reaching. 

We may not truly be Fulfilled in life till we discover a course higher than us to live for. A life spent in the pursuit of a noble endeavor always end fulfilled. Such life always stays upbeat, spiced up with excitement and bliss. 

James and Anita (original names withheld) had been married for 10 years. Actually, they had started off as high school sweethearts and their attraction was electric. They got married soon after school and as James landed a well-paying job, they saw no need for Anita to work. She stayed home and played a good domestic wife till they had to move to a bigger apartment and James took an extra job. This made him spend very little time at home with his wife and their 7-year Jack. Anita’s complaints of not having James’ attention always met his growl of “How will the bills be paid?” This continued for months and Anita began to lapse into depression. She felt life had no meaning. Hopelessness and despondency guarded her fearful mind. Before James knew the problem and reach for medical help, her dependency on alcohol was on a steep increase. Jack had even caught her in the closet with a knife trying to stab her tummy. 

As they sat before a psychologist, he listened patiently. Afterwards, one thing he could make out from the session was that Anita had overly depended on her late father. She literally drew meaning from him. With the man out of the picture, she looked up to James to fill her void. This he tried to do till the new job came along to contest a place with her in his life. Now,

 life seemed vague and purposeless. Nothing seemed to be able to fill this space in her life. After the psychologist counselled on what to do, how that she needs to find a passion to pour her life into, he had to introduce them to Jesus, who fills every void in man’s heart. 

You know, before the start of creation in Genesis 1v1-3, in the nothingness and utter emptiness, we see a great answer there; God stepped in and brought order to the scheme of things. 

You also need to allow God to come into your life to fill up the void. He wants to be the center such that everything revolves around Him. Because, like the Doughnut Repair Club sang,

“Life without Jesus is like a doughnut… cause there’s a hole in the middle of your heart.” 

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