A God-Shaped Hole

“You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.” – Augustine

There’s a God-shaped hole in all of us
And the restless soul is searching
There’s a God-shaped hole in all of us
And it’s a void only He can fill

Does the world seem gray with empty longing
Wearing every shade of cynical
And do you ever feel that
There is something missing?

Never before in our history have we had so many ways to fill our time and our desires. And yet, people seem to find contentment so elusive, amidst the abundance of choices in our hyperconsumer and hyperconnected society.

… our addiction to being constantly connected has created an entirely new and unique fear: the fear of missing out, or FOMO. While we may think we are missing out on something important, we are actually missing out on being present in our own lives.

–Steven Griffith, The Time Cleanse: A Proven System to Eliminate Wasted Time, Realize Your Full Potential, and Reinvest in What Matters Most (McGraw-Hill, 2018)

Augustine sought to fill that void through a life of debauchery but that ultimately didn’t satisfy or satiate his desires; instead, like a thirsty man gulping salt water, he could not assuage his yearnings. He then tried to follow the path of vanity and vainglory through the pursuit of rhetoric, thinking perhaps this would satisfy his ambition and bring him acclaim and adoration.

It was only when he recognized the depravity and darkness of his own heart that the glorious light of God’s grace found its way into his soul; as he puts it: “You had pierced our heart with Your love.” So it was in my own experience: the angst and anxiety drove me to seek out answers: Zen, Nietzsche, rock ‘n’ roll —but it was reading the account of Jesus’ crucifixion (and subsequent resurrection from the dead) that the turmoil in my soul was calmed by the truth of what I read and experienced when in faith I first believed: “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32; ESV).