I've been rather quiet lately. At home, I mean. I still talk when I get together with people, friends, acquaintances, but then it seems like I'm done. Done talking. Done projecting my ideas and my conclusions. I really don't have too many of those anymore. I'm kinda empty. But in a good way.
I never realized that there are different kinds of emptiness. There's the emptiness you feel when you've lost a loved one, or you've lost a job, or you've lost your savings. There's also an empty feeling when you've been demeaned or despised. You can feel rather value-less and empty. It's a terrible feeling.
But then there's a kind of empty feeling when you've gone through a lot of stuff, dealt with a lot of junk, and now you're healed, possibly, but not exactly full of hope. Not yet. This is the time when dreams are germinating inside....again. This is the time when you're ready for a BIG idea from God- a new one- 'cause you're out of your own ideas. You're not feeling despair, just empty. Just ready for the New, cause you're done with the Old.
"Behold, I will do a NEW THING" God says to our empty hearts. We perk up and we sense how true that it is, and how ridiculous we've been to think we, ourselves, could usher in the new thing. We've been in our past and we are currently living out our present day. But we have not yet seen our future. God has, though. He's seen it all. And He's got a lot of new ideas that are bound to surprise us.
I haven't been very creative lately, although my cooking hasn't been terrible either. (But I am rotating the same dishes over and over.Last night was Grilled London Broil and Mashed Potatoes and Green beans. Nice, but not anything exciting).
I'm not writing anything amazing in my journal,either, and I haven't cooked up any crazy ideas lately, nor have I tried to entice my good friend, Mu, to do some kind of crazy adventure. She might just be a little empty herself- or at least a little tired. She certainly did a lot of energetic coaching and encouraging this past winter. It was a long winter, and I needed her help. She was there for me. She was really there.
Every time I try to pick myself up and get myself all energized to dream up some good career plans or income ideas or a potential house renovation, I feel God whispering to me "Relax." And implied in His message is the sense that I really couldn't do much more than relax and sink back into contemplation of the fact that the boundless possibilities I need to perceive are all going to come from Him anyways. So relax.
I've always had an issue with relaxing. The early bird gets the worm, not the relaxed bird. And I've somehow equated laziness with being relaxed. I'm sure some of this has to do with having a very industrious father who was an immigrant to this country.How many relaxed immigrants do you know? Nobody ever gets anywhere without a lot of hard work, diligent effort, striving, and persevering, right?
But then do these kind of hard working people know how to relax? And when do they relax? And do they struggle with feeling guilty when they relax? These are the things I want to know- and I think they are some of the best kept secrets.
I know very few relaxed Christians. It's a terrible indictment of us- as a people group. Nothing is more unattractive than a stressed out, uptight frowning Christian who tells you to put your trust in God and then you can have what they have- an uptight, stressed out life, but with salvation thrown in for good measure.
Lately it seems to me that to be relaxed, at peace, confident of God's love for you, that you would need the utmost of Faith. You would need to be someone who has heard God's heartbeat and you would need to be perceptive of God's good will for you. You would then anticipate good- not evil- from God. You would be able to be empty, and see it as a good thing- because you would anticipate that God loves to fill empty people- not empty them out further.
God doesn't deplete us. The world can do that. Unhealthy relationships can do that. Crises and problems can help to deplete you. But God fills you up. At least He desires to. Whether or not He can fill you to overflowing with love and hope may just depend on you and I seeing that He wants to.
And when we realize that we're empty, but we're reaching out to God for more-by Faith- then something good is about to happen. So relax. Loosen your shoulders. Take a deep breath. Act like your world is not collapsing, even if it feels like it is. And when someone asks you why you are so relaxed, tell them that you have no answers, no hope- apart from God- and therefore, you've got it made! You're more than fine. You're relaxed. Empty. And about to be filled to overflowing.