Living on Empty

Feeling empty can be terrifying, but it is the very essence of living well. Emptiness, that place where we feel like we have nothing, is the place where our souls meet the sufficiency of God.

Our instinct is often to fill the emptiness with anything we can find so that we don’t have to feel like we are incapable of producing our own happiness. We don’t like to feel like we can’t make a life for ourselves. So, we run to activities, books, or even vices to dull the pain of emptiness or to feel a bit satiated. However, we never get our fill and emptiness peaks its head around the corner again.

The key is to feel the emptiness … to embrace it … to look at it and call it friend. Because, only when we feel that emptiness and let it linger is there a possibility of being filled by the Spirit of God in ways that give a settled joy and contentment that arouse even deeper hungers for God and the life we were created for.

Thomas Keating summarizes it this way: “The human heart is designed for unlimited happiness – for limitless truth and for limitless joy – and nothing less can satisfy. Hence, we have to repress that desperate but unfulfilled hunger for happiness. We travel down various roads that offer happiness but can’t provide because they are partial goods.”


~ by Ted Wueste on April 7, 2011.

2 Responses to “Living on Empty”

  1. Well spoken, Ted. I am actually going to write a Breathe post on emptiness soon…so this has encouraged me.

    I came across a quote from Ann Voskamp that I love, so I thought I’d share it with you. She is using the picture of guitar as an instrument that is hollow….”the curves of guitar hold emptiness, and in Patient arms, emptiness can sing.”

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