I wrote briefly about a new understanding of the god shaped hole last November. I can’t believe it’s been THAT long! Please read that before reading this.
But a couple of things have come up in the last few weeks that brought me back to thinking about it:
1) WWE wrestler, ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted Dibiase came and spoke at our church a couple of nights ago and spoke about the fullness that he has found in God and how that hole that he tried to fill with drugs, alcohol and women was finally filled by God.
2) I spoke with a former drug addict who spoke about the hole that was once filled by drugs is now filled by God.
I guess, for some people, there is a hole that needs to be filled. Those who were addicted to something whether it be drugs, alcohol or whatever now speak of being filled by God.
I get that.
But what about those who don’t have a God shaped hole?
I don’t believe that I ever did. What I did have ( and still do have every so often) was a need to feel loved and accepted by someone. But I would not necessarily define that as a ‘hole‘. It is more that I am not completely secure in my own identity and so I sometimes need others to affirm it.
So, my question is this. What do you tell someone who says they have everything they need (and want)? What do you say to the person who does not have that ‘god shaped hole’?
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’[d]”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is[e] to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
This man didn’t have a ‘hole’. And Jesus didn’t try to tell him that he did have one that needed to be filled by God. Instead, Jesus told him to give up that what was most dearest to him: material goods, money.
So, back to my question. What do you tell someone who says they have everything they need (and want) and so don’t need Jesus?
Tell them, they’re right. They don’t need Jesus because Jesus shouldn’t be just another thing that we need.
You see, for me, following Jesus isn’t about filling a hole or about making my life complete. Jesus’ call to me is to give up things and to be restless and uncomfortable. Rather than find peace, I am to live in the uncertainty.
In my youth work, I need to move away from trying to sell Jesus to young people. Instead, I should be asking the young people to sell. Sell their comfortable lifestyle and their middle-class identity and pick up their cross.
Following Jesus does not make me complete. In fact, it makes me want to be incomplete.