In the past couple of years several things I thought I knew for sure have been majorly challenged. I understand if you disagree with me…this is just my perspective. Plain and simple, just something I thought I knew for sure.
I’ve told you guys how much I love Don Miller’s new book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. I love it because it makes me think. On several occasions he wraps words around things that The Husband and I have been experiencing over the past few years. But this one thing, I’ve never mentioned to anyone. Not even The Husband. I was nearly flung from the treadmill when listening to the book on my iPod and I heard this…
“Growing up in church, we were taught that Jesus was the answer to all our problems. We were taught that there was a circle-shaped hole in our heart and that we had tried to fill it with the square pegs of sex, drugs and rock and roll; but only the circle peg of Jesus could fill our hole.I became a Christian based in part on that promise, but the hold never really went away.”
Well that’s exactly what I was taught! And for me, “the God shaped hole” was plenty enough reason to run to the alter. But here’s the thing I’ve never said…I still have that “hole”. There was a little bit of time in my twenty’s when I thought I still had the empty place because I wasn’t really “saved”. I’d feel a longing. A discontent. There was sometimes a compulsion to meet a need that I didn’t even understand. So in my quiet time with God, I’d say the sinner’s prayer again and again. And hope eventually it would work.
Then in my thirty’s I’d get tired of “trying” and decide to meet my own needs since God didn’t seem to be interested in meeting them. I’d follow my heart so to speak. Those are things I look back on that literally break my heart. Other times I hit my knees and promised God I’d work harder at being a “good Christian” and then wear myself to a nub trying to keep up with my Religious to-do list. No matter what I did though, the” hole” sadly enough was still there…there’s got to be something more haunted me. No good Christian thinks like this. So the cycle of shame and condemnation kept me spinning.
But in the past two years something has been brewing in me, and I’ve given up the dream that the hole inside will be filled and satisfied. I just don’t think it will.
Not in this life.
Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying, there’s hope in Jesus. Hope for the right now.I love Him. I’d be dead without Him. And that’s the truth. But this life is not going to be “complete”. Some of us may die before fulfilling what we believe to be our ultimate purpose. There will be tons of things we won’t understand. Some of them horrible and painful. People try to throw explanations at horrible things but in the end I find them empty. It gives me peace to know…life won’t “add up”. ..until heaven. I find security in believing there’s more than the life we’re living right now.
When my mom left this world there were so many thoughts. One that continually slapped me in the face was that I knew there were things she so wanted to do that she didn’t get to do. If anyone deserved to live out their dreams or their calling it was my mom. But, here’s that “brewing” I told you about, I have come to firmly believe that she’s not done. Her calling, her purpose, is being lived out now. She’s continuing in her purpose… on the other side of eternity.
What if I had believed this when I was younger? What difference would it have made for me? Huge. Epic difference. I would have focused less on me for one. I might have recognized the longing in my heart as being an eternal thing not a here and now thing. At least some of my choices would have been different.
For heaven’s sake, how many mid-life crisis could be avoided if everyone believed that when we hit 50,60,70,80 we’re not done. Instead we’re gaining momentum for what’s coming. For the continuation of our life. For what’s beyond this life.
Don Miller says it better. He makes sense. And his words gave me the courage to share this. I know some of you won’t like it. For some maybe your “God shaped hole” is full up. I am so happy for you. I can only tell you my experience and where I am today. My hope is, if someone is working themselves silly trying to “do” the right things or feeling compelled to fill that hole on their own, that they will just take a moment to consider that there’s something beyond today, beyond this side of eternity.