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Starting at Empty
Emptiness is not a natural state. It’s a moment when the world stops turning one direction and possibly starts turning in the other.
Emptiness is a bedrock position; a good place to start a new journey or new life. Whether it turns out well or ill will depend on what we decide is best to build upon — which reminds me of the story Jesus ends his Sermon on the Mount with. It’s found in the gospel of Matthew.
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV)
God loves empty people because they can be filled with His Spirit.
Emptiness brings the awareness that one’s personal world is shattered and in pieces. There is nothing else to do and we are left with just
Emptiness is an attitude; a choice to be quiet and listen for a change. It is the beginning of wisdom.
Before emptiness, we are filled with ourselves and are often blind to our most desperate needs. Instead of addressing our real problems we struggle to keep plates spinning, and important people happy, in-line, or at least out of our business.
We think we can fix our problems and everyone else’s before emptiness; after emptiness, we know for certain that we cannot.
Emptiness is a positive choice and its alternative (and what preceded it) is self-deception -- which can lead to helplessness, despair and the belief that we are victims with no choices but to accept the dregs of life -- ironically not seeing that we have just made a terrible decision to stay in darkness.
To pour out this bad option or direction is then, for a moment to be empty — like an empty grocery cart. But this time, hopefully, we might choose a different option or direction — to wisely wait for God to begin his filling process. What might this look like? I’m betting it will be good, but I think we will just have wait and see.
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