I dug out some old material that convicted me once before and thought I would read it again to see if the same conviction leaped off the page at me again. It is a short little pamphlet. I didn’t get far into it. I stopped on the front page. The expression was so short, yet it fit what Holy Spirit is moving within my heart. You must be free from ... love of emptiness...
Love of emptiness, what is that? Why would anyone love emptiness? That led to a further study.
Meaning: emptiness is the noun form of empty. The meaning for empty from m-w.com is as follows: containing nothing, not occupied or inhabited, lacking reality, substance meaning or value, devoid of sense, hungry, idle, having no purpose or result, marked by the absence of human life, activity, comfort.
Oh there is just so much to go on. So, through reading what I could find (really not much out there), prayer and meditation showed how it applied to me and what it means.
But first what is it?
It’s a two fold inner state. First, we’re empty inside and seek to fill it. This is the natural state of man since the fall. Then the world says to fill it with things, yet none last. The emptiness grows because the things being put in only create more emptiness, never fulfilling.
My example - watching TV. Most shows I watch (HGTV) have no real value. They add nothing. It amounts to a time that I have an empty head. I’m not thinking over some great thought, thinking about what I could do to serve and love those I will contact in my day, think and praise God for how good He is. I go to it to fill my head, to be a distraction, yet it leaves me empty.
The emptiness grows from spending my time this way. The emptiness also craves more. It wants more of what it had. The same could be true for anything - shopping, eating, computer time (Pinterest anyone?), the list goes on and on. If anything the modern world has created is way in which to unengaged with the world, with our brains and become people of emptiness.
Of course, this could happen to a dedicated Christian after a major change. When we just want to be alone and do our own thing. It slowly creeps in that we’re trying to fill ourselves up with things of the world that distract us from the day to day. This could be a loss of a loved one that upset your whole world, loss of job, an illness - basically any change in routine. We make allowance for that period - we need healing, adjustment. Then next thing you know, your habits are set and you are slave to the mind numbing activity.