What are We Looking For

What are We Looking For

I have been thinking about a song over the last couple of hours, Bruce Springsteen’s   “I’m on Fire”.  Now why would I be thinking about a song which records the thoughts of someone who is completely – some might say obsessively – thinking about the person he loves.  Well it is because of one particular line in the song which goes “It’s like someone took a knife blade all edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley through the middle of my soul.”


I love that line.  What Bruce is talking about is the way that when we love someone, or maybe better said when we need someone it is like being without them leaves us empty.  We feel like there is a hole inside of us that cannot be filled and that without them we are somehow incomplete. 


I would put forth to you the idea that the church has put forth for about 1900 years.  That is that the great emptiness that we can feel in our lives, the six inch valleys that we find are not because we miss a person.  But that the valleys and the sadness are because we are at our very core, a people who are incomplete until we finally rest in God.


It may seem like a broad statement but think about it with me for a moment.  We believe and confess that we are created.  We are created in the image of God.  From this we can understand that God is what we came from, the Source, the Ultimate Truth, and as we understand the ultimate destination.  So since God is where we come from, what made us, the form in which we were made and our destination God is pretty important is he not?  God is the true form of all reality that formed us.  Therefore we are right and as we should be when we are actually with God.  That is what we are supposed to be created beings who find our rest in the Father.  That is why Jesus says all of those crazy things like “I am the way and the truth and the life.”  He says that because he is.  The end of all things is God in Christ Jesus.


So if that is the truth of who we are to be, then can we see how when we turn from God we are hurting ourselves.  We are in fact turning away from the true light that created us.  We are given the freedom to turn away but we are then pursuing other ends that are not life.  God is life; all other things lead only to death and destruction, because only God can give true life and true fulfillment because God is what is.


So does it surprise us that so many in this world have a feeling of emptiness in their lives?  We as a people try to fill the holes in our heart with so many things.  We try to work our way into satisfaction, we try to achieve things, and we try and fill our lives with stuff.  Those are the less destructive things people will do.  We know that many try to cover over the emptiness by killing the pain with alcohol, or drugs, or your addiction of the day.  It doesn’t matter.  No matter what things we try to throw down into the holes in our lives – things will never fill them.   They may give us a moment of temporary relief or intoxicate us briefly to the point where we don’t think about it – but the emptiness is always there.


The only thing that can fill, or better said, heal the valleys in our soul is God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  It is only the eternal one who can give us true peace.  It is only the eternal one who can whisper to us the truth that he is with us, we are never alone, and God is using us for his purpose.  It is only the one who loved us so much that he demonstrated that love by dying for us on the cross that can fill in the valleys of our heart.  Because we yearn for that from which we came, we year for the one who made us, we year for the one who knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. 


With this be warned.  Life with Jesus isn’t always a warm and a fuzzy.  Just because Jesus is with us doesn’t mean we get to always be in a state of ecstasy.  Or to say it another way, Jesus presence and God’s work in us doesn’t have anything to do with how we feel about it.  God is at work and is healing and filling the valleys of our hearts.  What we can do is turn to our Lord.  Pray.  We continue to ask for God’s guidance for Christ’s leading in our lives.  And God will because that is what God does.


And I’ll tell you something sort of amazing with all of this too.  God is active and moving in your life.  Now God doesn’t always rip the sky open and say “I’M HERE” but God does and will reveal himself.  The thing is God REALLY likes to use that ‘still small voice method’.  God will show up not in the Earthquake, or the Whirlwind but in the phrase uttered, the help given, and the love shown.  What I means is that God will show up where we least expect it in and through those around us.  God gives us assurance of his work in and around us by using and sending the people in and around us.  In little ways God is telling you and I that he is here, and is working, and that we get to keep up the good work too.


Okay that’s my thought for now.  Maybe next time I’ll use the other line from “I’m On Fire” that goes

‘sometimes I wake up with the sheet soaking wet with a freight train running through the middle of my head’.   No, maybe not.


May the Peace of God be with You Now and Always,

In Christ,


Pr. Mike



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