Fullness, emptiness

Faith & Inspiration

I've noticed a strange phenomenon, and I wonder if you have sensed it too: There is a curious emptiness inside after spending time sitting in front of the TV. You hunker down for an hour of something enjoyable. But when you get up again (two sitcoms and a bowl of ice cream later), you feel a vague malaise, even a mild embarrassment, a thing so subtle as to be barely detectable.

I think these are little "red flag" feelings that I want to learn to pay attention to. God is telling me where life is, and where it is not. I never feel that hollowness, by the way, after even five minutes of reading the Bible, and that is interesting to me. The contrast between the emotional residue of TV watching versus Bible reading or praying is a hint about how to live: Go where the nourishment is.

"Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me …" (Isaiah 55:2-3).

My former pastor, who was saved out of a life of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, told me that when he became a Christian he didn't decide he had to give up certain music so much as he just lost interest. There was no nourishment in it, no food or drink. The streams of real life flowed elsewhere.

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The dietary recommendations of the RDA are enough to keep you from scurvy and beriberi but not enough for optimum health. As Christians, we can imbibe just enough spirituality to stay borderline healthy (or borderline sick). But why settle for that when God wants to give us more? I share all this only because the time is short and we have a finite number of days left to live before God in the land of the living.

"All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful" (1 Corinthians 6:12). It's OK to choose a doughnut over an apple-or the TV over the Bible-once in a while, but too much of it just adds to the emptiness.

Andrée Seu
Andrée Seu

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again.


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