Preaching

Emptiness

The Emptiness Within

Blaise Pascal was a child prodigy, a scientist, inventor, philosopher, and theologian back in the mid 1600s. He's probably most famous for his work in mathematics and geometry, though he was also the inventor of the first mechanical calculator. However, in his later years he began to wax eloquently about the philosophies of life and his own theological observations. Which brings us to the phrase that is probably the most famous misquote that's been attributed to him:

"In every man there is a God-shaped hole that only God can fill."

It turns out, though, that he never quite said it that way. What he actually wrote was:

There was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace. ... This infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words, by God himself.Blaise Pascal

Of course, that's a translation of his writing from French to English, so I'm sure there's something lost in translation. The fact remains, however it gets said, there IS an emptiness within us that cannot be filled by anything on this earth – no matter how hard we try. And it's that very reason why humanity is pressed into searching for meaning and for hope in the infinity. It's why religion will continue to flourish even after the Enlightenment and Modernism and Post-Modernism have all passed away (only to be replaced by a new and improved worldview!).

The problem today's world is left with is the one Pascal wrestled with some 400 years ago ... how do we fill that emptiness that gnaws at our soul? If we're honest with ourselves we'd find it difficult to admit that our relationship with God is actually filling that emptiness. Certainly religion and church isn't doing it, because if they did our churches would be packed.

What's the secret? Where's that "God shaped" puzzle piece that will fill the void?

And that's the topic of this week's Conversation: Living the Abundant Life by Letting Go.

See you Sunday!

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