The Chasm Within

When Darren and I bought our home, we bought it knowing (or hoping at least) that we would only live here for three years. Two of those three years have come and gone in a blink and now we are trying to determine where to go next. We would love to buy land in the country and build a house or maybe remodel an old farmhouse in need of some love. Darren spends the evenings perusing real estate websites looking for land and houses and then we spend the weekends driving around looking at what he’s found.

Since we’ve always planned on moving out of this house, I’ve never really put my roots down. I’ve been too busy counting the days until we move on to the next thing and then, I tell myself, I’ll really relax and settle in.

I say all this about buying houses and moving and always looking for the next best thing because I’ve started noticing a pattern in my life. I’m not just always ready to move into a better house on a prettier hillside, I’m always looking for something bigger and better in every part of my life. As soon as I get one thing that I thought I just had to have and knew would make me happy, there are five more things on the list of stuff I must have. I must have that outfit, that bag, that car, that job, that friend, that attention, that haircut, that vacation, and on and on it goes. It’s like I’m using all my life energy to dump water into a bucket riddled with holes; I fill and fill and fill and yet the bucket is always empty and I’m always thirsty for more.

I see too that way leads onto way, that is, when I finally get the bigger nicer house I wanted I must now fill it with bigger nicer possessions because the old stuff just won’t do. When I get a new dress, well I need new boots and a scarf and a bag to go with it because I just don’t have anything to wear otherwise. The more I get the more I want. Nothing satisfies. Nothing fulfills. I know this is true because I basically got everything I thought I could ever want for Christmas last year–and yet I already have a whole new list of stuff I want for Christmas this year–stuff I hadn’t even thought of needing until I got all that other stuff that now needs this and that to make it perfect. My heart is a greedy little monster and I will never give so much that it says, “Enough, there is nothing more I want. I am satisfied and content.” No, my heart will always say “give me more, give me now.”

C.S. Lewis said, “If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” There is a reason why all this stuff, however coveted, can never fully satisfy me; there is within me a void only God can fill.

There is nothing wrong with having nice things but nothing (not even everything) can ever fill me up and leave me happy–Hollywood is proof enough of that.

Someday Darren and I are going to find the right house or the right piece of land–but it isn’t going to make me happy. If I’m not happy right now today with God himself then I’ll never be happy tomorrow with God plus the perfect house. There is no room for God plus whatever–there is only room for God because God is the only “thing” that can fill the void within. I can be happy today or I can grasp for tomorrow–and tomorrow will come as empty and void as today.

6 thoughts on “The Chasm Within

  1. Words can not fathom the joy i recieved reading this blog. I love the fact that I am not the only one who has dealt with not being able to settle into this life, I believe that this is what keeps us( as christians longing for God…. Once again, Wonderful blog.

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  2. Oh, my god, deja vu reading your first two or three paragraphs. However, I don’t think you need to despair. There’s balance. I think you can have the urge to create, grow, aspire and be inspired, and yet find immense satisfaction with those moments of achievement, growth and accomplishment. There is a big difference between an ordinary purchase of a random material thing, and the achievement of a dream or something you create.

    And real estate has many joys other than the mere attainment of the next objective. Just be selective, be patient and enjoy. All the best in your pursuits.

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  3. Start where you are, use what you have, pass it on.Was the subject of Sundays sermon. The Dean of Students at K.C. Christian School was the speaker. I have never seen or heard a more contented person in my life. Giving of yourself for God’s glory fills the void we all have. Remember tomorrow never comes, it’s always today.
    Love you

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  4. Excellent article my dear. You’ve learned an important lesson, and I am so thankful that you have learned it early in your life. I see so many people my age and older who are still looking for the next best “thing.” I really believe with all of my heart, that God allowed us to live in the old, run down farmhouse for so many years (especially the years that I had six youngsters growing up) to teach me the lessons of contentment. Learning to be content with what many saw as a curse- no furnace, no ac, very small closets, no tv (oh my!) was a good lesson for me to learn and a good way for you and your siblings to grow up. I was blessed to have six healthy, happy babies to rear, a Godly husband who worked very hard to provide for us and who loves me and those children with all of his heart.
    I am reminded every day that as a Christian I am a foreigner in this world, just passing through, looking foward to my heavenly home. I will spend eternity with my Saviour in a place so glorious it will make the most beautiful things we treasure on this earth look like garbage. No “thing” on earth can possibly compare to that! God is all we need! Love you!

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