Food. Entertainment. Reading. Sleep. Music. Adventures in Odyssey. Those words comprise a list of my void fillers.
You see, I struggle with practicing the spiritual discipline of contentment. And the discipline of meditation. And solitude. I’m sure the list could go on and on. On the surface, turning to these things are a normal part of my life. Who doesn’t love food? Or getting buried in a good book? Catching up on “well-deserved” zees, you gotta to be kidding me!? Those are priceless treats.
As humans, we all were created with the void to be loved by God. Overtime, the void can be enlarged and/or feel like several fragments all over our lives during different seasons. Sadly, for me, I don’t recognize the importance of turning to God first all of the time until I try all my other options and hit a insatiable bump in the road.
Yet, when I stop and consider why I do what I do, if I’m brutally honest, these actions are done because there is a void I feel and so I indulge. When I feel bored – I eat. When I feel stressed – I read. When I’m lonely- I sleep. When I’m whatever – I do whatsoever. Instead of turning to God, the only One who truly satisfies, I turn to temporary fixes that always leaves me craving for more.
In the practical sense, void fillers only serve the purpose of helping to cushion an item being transported. Have you ever bought a very small item online, and low and behold it comes in a really huge package. You open the box and find yourself digging through layers of fillers (bubble wrapping, bubble packages, styrofoams) in order to reach the desired item. You don’t keep those items do you? As much as they are many in number they get tossed to the side in order arrive at the actual item of interest. Surely these void fillers have a purpose, but they are not the main reason you bought the item. Yes, these fillers were needed for transport. They acted as a cushion to prevent damage to my purchased item but once the purchase arrived, I no longer had need for these fillers. These fillers were never meant to replace my purchase. They were meant to work with my item as a form of protection. Nothing else. Nothing more.
Jesus commanded, that we love the Lord our God with all our soul, mind, body, will, strength. This means that we ought to love God with all of us, especially when we find ourselves in areas of longing. We need to turn to God before turning to the other good things that for me, become gods (idols – objects I place above God). We need to recognize that fillers, are not the main product. They may be good and possess some value, but they cannot replace the love of Christ, the only reason for our hope.