The God-shaped Hole
Thou Hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.
—Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Fifth century
We are, I believe, born with a need for God. But there is no instruction manual that teaches us about our yearning. We learn about it by trying to fill a void that aches from time to time—though we don’t realize that the emptiness we feel is one of the ways that God communicates with us.
We may try to fill this “God-shaped hole” with various things: business, food, alcohol, worldly success … you name it. All these things, in moderation and with appropriate use, are gifts that God intends for us to have. But using them to fill this particular void is like pouring water into the gas tank of your car—it just won’t work. Only one thing can make a gas-driven car go: gas.
And only one thing can fill that “hole” and make us whole: God.
God, in his love for us, never forces the issue. He will not compel us to open our hearts to him. It is when someone or some event or some difficult time turns us toward him, that He pours out his love into our waiting souls. And then, life is changed, renewed, made whole.
That does not mean that all our problems are solved or that we will know total peace all the time. But it does mean that we are home, in the right ballpark, on the right track. Prayer and community with other believers will feed that new (or renewed) life. Just wanting God to be with us in our daily walk brings God close. We were created by him, for him, and we are not whole until we are united with him in soul and spirit.
Draw us ever closer to you, O Lord, and open our hearts to you. Give us true life. Amen.
Copyright © 2006 William A. Kolb.