Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | March 10, 2015

Pascal’s Quote And An Essay

I didn’t write this essay,  and can’t remember where I found it.  I did keep it, though.  It’s a fine sermonette on man’s relationship with God.

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“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus”

Blaise Pascal

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The God-Shaped Vacuum

“His [God’s] purpose in all of this was that the nations should seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist.”

Years ago Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) insightfully said, “What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”

This is true and vital but I would dare to suggest that it doesn’t present the entire picture for as there is a God-shaped vacuum (or cup as I like to put it) within the heart of all of us, there is also a people-shaped cup. And while our God-shaped cup needs to be filled with the love of God, our people-shaped cup needs to be filled with the love of people.

If either one of these cups is empty life can feel void and meaningless. And then we seek to fill the void within and deaden the pain of our empty lives with things, endless activities, seeking approval, super-busyness, illicit sex, alcohol, drugs and stuff, stuff, and more stuff and, at least here in the West, we are left longing in the midst of a land of plenty.

The fact is that God has created us for relationships both with himself and each other. It has been rightfully said that 80 percent of life’s satisfaction comes from the quality of our relationships. Without loving relationships we limp along in the shadows of life and will most likely die long before our time. While it may not be desirable, we can live without romantic love but we cannot live healthily without healthy loving relationships with at least one or two—and preferably more—other persons.

Furthermore, without a meaningful relationship with God, there is a deep sense of spiritual emptiness of the soul. When God created mankind, he created us with the capacity to communicate with him, to be connected to him in spirit. The tragedy is that when sin entered the human race, we were separated or disconnected from God. But because God loved us he sent his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for all our sins so we could be reconnected to God and then, through Jesus, get our God-cup or vacuum filled.

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