Friday, April 12, 2013

The Empty Spot

I recently read the book, “The Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald.  It was an interesting read.  I am pretty sure I read the book while in High school, but remembered nothing of it.  It felt kind of like a soap opera as I read it.  The Hollywood version should be interesting to see when it comes out, however not family friendly I am sure.       
One theme that ran through the whole book for me was the idea of the “empty spot.”  Each character was in search of something better… more money, more attention, more things, someone to love and adore them more, more, more, more.  Nobody seemed happy with what they had.  Life would be better “if only” they had this or that.  They were each trying to live out their fantasies of the perfect life.
Nick seemed to be the only stable character.  He hadn’t decided what he was in search for entirely.  He sought stability in his career while considering all of the other options to fill his void in life.  Watching everyone else pursue their dreams of grandeur helped him realize what was really important to him.  By the end of the story he had gained a new perspective. 

Jay Gatsby spent his whole life in pursuit of someone or something to fill that spot deep within… that spot that defined him.  Yet, even at the end of his life he was still left with a void.  All of them sought something… Daisy wanted security, riches, and true love.  Tom wanted status, accolades, and to be adored by a woman.  His wife wasn’t enough for him, his heart longed for another.  Myrtle, his mistress, loved the opportunities money brought… extravagant things, security, reputation, status, and the hopes of a better life. 

Each character attempted to fill their “empty spot” in some fashion.  It may surprise you to hear this, but I think our lives mirror these characters in a sense.  We may not be having affairs, seek fame or fortune, or even have questionable business dealings, but we do have an “empty spot” deep inside of us that longs to be filled.  We may be attempting to fill it with a variety of things to no avail.

Have you ever seen the little kids shape game where you match various shapes and then the pieces fall inside of the circle?  We have that game where I work so I see it all the time.  One time I watched my son, when he was little play this game in frustration. He seemed to think that whatever shape he chose should fit inside the space no matter what.  He would shove, push, bang, and smash to try to make his shape fit with no luck.  All he ended up doing was getting more upset while he still held the piece in his hand.  Sometimes we do the same thing when it comes to our “empty spot.”  We try to get anything and everything to fit to fill it, but nothing works and we end up feeling emptier in the end.

 When I was seventeen years old, I realized that there was only one thing that could fit inside the empty spot in my heart and that was God.  The hole inside of me was “God Shaped.”  Nothing else could fill it, I tried and it all left me empty.  God made all the difference!  It was obvious to me in the way I felt inside and out.  The day I asked Him to come into my life, all the empty spots of my heart were filled and I have never been the same. 
The storms of life can challenge our faith and sometimes even uproot it if we allow it.  Storms can be devastating.  Life can be challenging at times and circumstances can sometimes feel overwhelming.  It is only when we are grounded and rooted deep in God that we can withstand anything that comes our way.

The Great Gatsby was a great reminder to me that no matter what storms blow into my life, I need to remember to stay rooted in God.  When we begin to focus on our circumstances and what we “don’t have,” it’s easy to allow that emptiness to fill our hearts again.  God is my “empty spot” filler and I don’t ever want to forget it.

If you are in search of something or someone to fill your “empty spot,” I hope you will consider my “empty spot” filler.  He won’t disappoint.

Living to leave a legacy,

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