I love watching home improvement shows. Watching a designer work is incredible. They take a worn out canvas of a home or business and with colour, fabric and furniture, transform it into something beautiful and functional.
When we moved into our house in Edmonton, we bought some new furniture for our living room. As we set things up, one thing puzzled me. The walls looked great, but there was an empty spot, a hole right above the couch. We had to find the right picture or piece of art to place on the newly painted wall.
This whole thing reminded me of the holes in many of our hearts and lives. We know there is something missing, but can’t seem to put our finger on it. Questions like, what is my purpose, what is the meaning of life, or maybe I just need to give up, maybe have crossed your mind? When we dwell on it too much, we get distraught and confused and maybe frustrated. Most of the time, we keep plugging along, but there are some who just give up altogether.
The Police produced a song in 1978, called Hole in my Life and I think it speaks volumes to the cry of today’s world.
“There’s a hole in my life… Shadow in my heart is tearing me apart… Be a happy man I try the best I can Or maybe I’m just looking for too much… There’s something missing from my life. Cuts me open like a knife. It leaves me vulnerable I have this disease. I shake like an incurable God help me, please… There’s a hole in my life”
That hole or emptiness is something I believe is God given. I believe that all of humanity is born with a longing for spiritual meaning. In many ways it is like a hole in our lives, so big, a truck could drive through it. We all experience these kinds of feelings from time to time. No one is immune to them. It does not matter if you are rich or poor, intelligent, or not; many struggle with this. Unfortunately, what we do is we shove other things into that hole like money, toys, status, work, fantasy, or even other people, in order to fill it or at least cover it up so we don’t have to address it. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have, you are still looking for something to fill it.
Harrison Ford, whose movies have grossed over $2 billion, once said in an interview, “You want what you don’t got.” When asked about what he did not have, he replied, “Peace.”
Unfortunately, we believe that what celebrities and athletes have (namely money, fame and stuff) would give us happiness. We know all too well from the news reports that many end up living and ending tragic lives.
Most of us probably know people who have turned to other means to find fulfillment and happiness. There are many different ways we can try to fill that void in our lives. There are some who have turned to drugs. Others turn to adrenaline rushes. Still others pursue knowledge.
In reality, all of us have something we live for – some passion, some ideal that drives us. Otherwise, we would not really be living, just existing. What is your master passion right now/ what do you live for? What is it that you think about constantly? What is it you dream about – long for? What is it you live for? What is your reason for living? This is important for everyone, but especially for young people, because whatever your passion is now, it will have an effect on your life in the years to come.
The reality is, we do have everything we need and more. Compared to most people in the world, we have too much. One of the wealthiest men who ever lived was King Solomon. In his quest for fulfillment and the meaning of life, he accumulated a vast number of possessions. One day, he looked on all he owned, and it was probably as much and as far as the eye could see and he said in verses 10 and 11 of Ecclesiastes 2, “Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.”
Even Solomon, the wisest man ever and the richest of his day, discovered there was something more…
How many of you have every bought a puzzle from the 2nd hand store. We take it home and dump all the pieces out on the table and start putting it together. After about 5 hours it starts to take shape and look pretty good. We get to the last few pieces and realize we are either missing a piece or the wrong piece is in the box. No matter how we try to make it work, it just won’t. That is what the Fall of humanity did for us. For the most part, we look pretty good, but when we get down to the nitty-gritty, something is missing or wrong. That is what our lives are like before and apart from Christ. Something is missing.
C.S. Lewis said this: Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: there is such a thing as water… If I find myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.”
Our world has a lot to offer, but much of it is the equivalent to what health professionals call, empty calories. They seem to satisfy, but then you get hungry again.
In John 4, we find the story of Jesus and a Samaritan woman. Jesus, tired after a long walk sits down to rest. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
It is easy to get caught up in the consumerism our world promotes. I would encourage you to take the time to read Ecclesiastes 1 and 2. See the things of this world in the light of the one who wrote the words. Solomon – a man who had everything in the world’s eyes, yet still understood there was something more.
We know today that true satisfaction comes only from Jesus. The hole in each of our lives can only be filled with God. We all know people who are pursing things other than God. Maybe you are one of them. There is only one true satisfying person who can fill that void. It’s Jesus. No one else can. So my encouragement to each of us here today is to make Jesus our desire. What He offers fills the hole in our lives more completely than any riches or power this world has to offer.