We strive to fill ourselves yet remain empty.
A quote struck a chord in me this morning as I was reading Erwin McManus’ book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul. I see so many people trying to fill their lives with stuff, yet their lives are empty. The pastor in me says that this is to be expected for those who have no spiritual foundation and I believe it to be true. If there is no spiritual life, there is nothing left to satisfy except the things of this world.
What breaks my heart is that I see those who claim to have a spiritual base doing the same things.
This isn’t a rant about being “in the world but not of it.” Please don’t stop reading for fear that I’m going to step on your toes.
But the truth of the quote above literally stopped me dead in my tracks today. Isn’t what Erwin wrote true? What are you filling your life with? What is filling up your time? How are you spending your money? What are you giving your energy toward?
Are you filling your life with deep, meaningful things or just temporary feel-good moments? Based on my Twitter feeds and Facebook wall, it seems to be the latter.
One of the reasons that I’m interested in simple living and minimalism is because they strive to take away a lot of the junk from our lives that keeps us from truly living.
The average American watches 4.5 hours of TV each day. 3.5 of those hours are spent watching the TV guide channel trying to find something decent to watch!
According to Twitter, The Hunger Games was the best movie ever!!! No wait, The Avengers was the best ever – hands down!! No, check that, The Dark Knight Rises is the most awesome movie ever created!!!!!
I like a good movie. Movies move us. Just thinking about Up makes me want to cry. We rent movies too. I’m not against watching movies. But it saddens me when it seems that is all some people have to look forward to and talk about.
I guess I am stepping on toes. Sorry.
But this isn’t about TV and movie entertainment. It could be about sports fans, Pinterest addicts, romance novel buffs, wine connoisseurs, gun fanatics, or antique collectors.
I’m not proposing that we all drop everything and join a monastery. I’m not suggesting that you should cancel cable and read your Bible for 4.5 hours each night (though that’s not a bad thing).
I’m asking you, “Are you filling your life with good stuff first and letting the other, less meaningful stuff, fill in the rest? Or, is your life filled with mostly meaningless stuff?”
I suppose that’s a long way of asking, “Are your priorities in order?”
Are you making time for things that will last? (Duck Dynasty is funny but it won’t be around much longer.) Are you carving out time for the important things or just reacting to the urgent?
If you’ve never read the classic booklet, Tyranny of the Urgent, I strongly encourage it. It will take you less than 30 minutes but it is life changing.
Here’s the actual quote from Erwin’s book: While we strive to fill ourselves and remain empty, Jesus emptied himself and lived fully.
In Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, he wrote, “He (Christ) emptied himself, taking the form of a servant (2:7).”
Jesus went to parties and weddings. He probably attended some plays and musical productions. He wasn’t opposed to letting the culture entertain him. But he knew that his ultimate reason for being was to empty himself on mankind’s behalf.
It should be our goal too.
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