When I am driving down the road and I hear that little bell go off to remind me that my gas tank is on empty, I know that I have to do something about it, and so I head to the gas station to put gas in, so that I can get rid of the “E”. When I have not had a chance to eat, my stomach will begin to growl and remind me that it is empty, and I will look for something to eat, so that I might fill that void.
We have been taught that when something is empty, we need to fill it. We walk into a room that has nothing in it and almost immediately our mind goes to the place of filling it with this and that. I think all of this focus on filling, causes us to miss the value of emptiness. Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching gives us the idea that “The usefulness of what is, depends on what is not.” In everything, there is an emptiness, a missing something, but that missing something is something, not nothing and this is the challenge of our thinking.
Our lives are full of work and living, but that is not what really makes our lives meaningful. It is often the spaces of our life that we perceive as empty that actually give us meaning and purpose. Since all of life around us seems to work by filling the empty void with whatever, we spend most of our energy trying to fill things back up and miss the joy of the emptiness.
We try to fill our lives up with work, activities, events, hobbies and almost anything we can think of and the result is still a gnawing emptiness, a void that we just can’t seem to fill, at least in a way that brings us satisfaction. This hole, void, emptiness is not a bad thing. In fact it has a purpose and it’s purpose is to help us to discover who we are and what we are about. It’s purpose it to teach us that rather than spending all of our effort and energy on trying, that we should invest ourselves instead on simply allowing. When we learn to allow what will be to be, we begin to enjoy the flow of life.
When you allow yourself to breathe. The breath comes in and it goes out, quiet naturally, until you decide to start messing with it. This is the best way to live life. Rather than trying to force and make things happen, just allow yourself in your living to breathe.
Most people cannot stand silence. Why? Because it is emptiness. Emptiness that we feel needs to be filled. As soon as we get in our cars, we power up the radio. As soon as we walk in the door of our home, we turn on our televisions. When we have a moment to sit and do nothing, we are on our smart phones trying to fill the void. And the result of all of this, is that we miss the power and blessing that the emptiness is there to bring.
At some point today, take a few moments to practice silence. I try to spend at least 10 minustes everyday in silent meditation. I try during this time, to go into that empty space and enjoy what my Creator has given me. I have discovered that it is from this place that some of my most amazing and beneficial thoughts begin, grow and flow.
It is in this place that I meet the essence of who I am and as I learn to allow that essence to flow, the real me begins to reveal itself to the rest of the world. Philippians 2:5-9 teaches us that this is what Jesus did when it says: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.”
Let go of everything – who you are, what you do, where you go, how you think, when you’ve got to be finished and learn to exist in the empty space of this moment. Appreciate this moment and the space of what it is allowing you and let it to do what it desires. You will be glad you did, because you will live blessed.