Empty. That is a significant finding.
Looking at a gaping hole filled with absolutely nothing. It makes you wonder what belongs there. A swimming pool? A well? A garbage pile? What belongs in this hole?
Picture this hole vastly empty and surrounded by beautiful flowers. Do the flowers really change anything? Only from a distance. From a distance the flat land now appears as a patch of flowering beauty. Perhaps a garden, an oasis?
It draws you in to take a closer look, pulled forward by the beauty evident from afar. Yet, once close enough you realize you’ve been fooled. It’s merely an empty, deceptively deep, dark hole. Even the flowers do not appear the same up close. In fact, they are cheap, brightly colored plastic, stuck fast in the muddy earth.
That is us in our shallow faith – empty – placing things in our life to make it appear that we are “fresh” and “alive.” Things that draw others close for a moment but only long enough for them to realize what we are showing is fake and superficial. It is brightly colored but alarmingly plastic. And as they draw near, the gaping hole is revealed, deeper and darker with each step closer to us. The flowers, regardless of how brightly colored the plastic is, pale in comparison to the stark emptiness that is present. And those that venture near, see it. They find themselves face-to-face with the reality of our emptiness.
How does this happen? How do we find ourselves living with shallow faith, unable to fill the void, surrounding ourselves with fake attractions?
Somewhere along the way, we have stopped focusing on becoming and started focusing on doing. We’ve busied ourselves with things that appear wonderful, beautiful, even attractive to others, but in the process we have stopped becoming the person we have been called to be. In fact, too often, what we have busied ourselves with are things that are meaningful, things that are good, things that are helpful – but they are not things that were meant for us.
We have taken the reigns of our life and tried to direct it towards the destiny we desire. We have tried to speed the process. We have tried to tell God what we should be, instead of letting Him lead the way.
Becoming is about growth. A growth that overflows, filling the empty holes in our lives and raising true beauty. A growth that raises flowering life that is not plastic or fake, but attractive in ways that draws others in and does not disappoint. A beauty that invites others to join us on our journey toward becoming. A beauty that finds value and worth in the seemingly insignificant, the seemingly irrelevant, and the inconsequential. A beauty that rests in spending time with God, alone, without audience, without applause. A beauty that finds value in true love, true friendship, true sacrifice. A beauty we can focus on and invest in during this time of social distancing and isolation.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.~ Ephesians 5:1-2