I never understood the idea of a ‘God shaped hole’.
The idea that each human has a void that can only be filled by God.
Because what of the people who don’t have that hole? who are content in their lives? Who are neither atheist, nor theist?
I got a SNES (super nintendo entertainment system) when I was 8 or 9 I think. I remember the feeling of wanting it. And knowing that at Christmas, I would get it. There was, in a sense, a SNES shaped hole in me.
But that hole was not filled when I got the SNES. In fact, the whole originally appeared only after I played the SNES for the first time. It was after playing it, that I realised I NEEDED it.
So the idea of a God shaped hole is not a void in someone that needs to have filled (by God). The God shaped hole is created when someone experiences God.
Pete Rollins puts it like this:
“the believer, far from one having a God-shaped hole in his or her being that is now filled, is one who has a God-shaped hole formed in the aftermath of God, a hole that compels them to see after that which they already have”.
I can testify to the fact that I have a God-shaped hole. That I have experienced God and it affected me. It changed me. And I’m chasing after that experience again.
So rather than helping young people fill a god-shaped hole in them, part of my work should be about creating that void by finding ways for them to experience something of God.