“We are afraid of emptiness. Spinoza speaks about our ‘horror vacui,’ our horrendous fear of vacancy. We like to occupy-fill up-every empty time and space. We want to be occupied. And if we are not occupied we easily become preoccupied; that is, we fill the empty spaces before we have even reached them. We fill them with our worries, saying, ‘But what if …’
It is very hard to allow emptiness to exist in our lives. Emptiness requires a willingness not to be in control, a willingness to let something new and unexpected happen. It requires trust, surrender, and openness to guidance. God wants to dwell in our emptiness. But as long as we are afraid of God and God’s actions in our lives, it is unlikely that we will offer our emptiness to God. Let’s pray that we can let go of our fear of God and embrace God as the source of all love” (Henri Nouwen).
It’s one thing to be in awe of God and quite another to be afraid of Him and what He wants to do in your life. It’s one thing to be lazy and quite another to have margins in your schedule where you can be silent and still for long enough to see and hear God.
I am witness to so many who are so afraid of emptiness and silence that they run themselves ragged trying to fill every moment and every void with activity and noise. We need some silence for our mental well-being. We need down time and rest for our own sanity.
Many of the men and women of faith that we look up to prized that silence and stillness to the degree that they made it a priority in their lives and put aside noble and worthy activities to sit at the feet of Jesus.
My hope and prayer through the remainder this season of Lent is that I will learn to fill up the void of social media with a holy emptiness where God has room to come in and fill all the spaces and speak in all the silences.