Marion and I had a great conversation at Marschner's tonight. Marschner's is the café down the street from the church building, where a lot of us go on a semi-regular basis to eat, hang out, and complain about second-hand cigarrette smoke. ;o) In the summer, it's the perfect place for ice cream.
Marion, for those of you who don't know, is my good friend--fun, witty, philosophical, rarely without a smile, and never without an encouraging word for someone who needs it. Marionuschka, this one's for you! Or something like that. ;o)
Anyway, as we were discussing the world's problems and trying to solve them, we started talking about what sorts of people we would be without God. I'll tell you my thoughts on that some other time....maybe when I feel more in the mood to expose my inner self to the world.
But that's another story. Marion and I were talking about how people are willing to try anything and everything to fulfill their own needs.....anything and everything except God. And I remembered reading once that each one of us has a God-shaped hole in our heart, a hole we spend our lives desperately trying to fill.
Remember that toy a lot of us had when we were little kids? It was a hollow, plastic ball--yellow!--with different shapes cut into it. Circles, squares, triangles, stars, etc. It had plastic pieces to go with it, pieces that were shaped like the holes in the ball. The idea was to find the shape that went with the right hole.
The only way to get the triangle into the ball was to stick it in the triangle hole. The only way to get the square into the ball was to stick it in the square hole. Sticking the triangle into the square hole wouldn't work. It didn't fit... Of course, if you were strong enough, I suppose you could force the triangle into the square hole....but you'd end up breaking the ball.
That's how we humans play with our hearts. We recognize that our hearts have holes, and we spend our entire lives desperately trying to fill those holes with something.
Work. Entertainment. Sex. Music, poetry, magazines, friendships, independence, cars, houses, movies, computers, science, ethics, morals, laws, philosophy, art, education, academics. We stuff all of those things into our hearts, yet our hearts still have these strange, alien holes in them. Nothing we stick into those holes can fill those holes up. All of those things I listed up there...we try to stick them into our hearts, but they're the wrong size, the wrong shape. Sometimes, we give up. We see that work won't fit in the hole, so we give up on work. We set the work-shaped piece aside and pick up the sex-shaped piece. And we try to stick superficial sex in the hole. But sex won't fulfill, so we try to pick up entertainment, fun. But fun won't fit, either. And we spend our lives going from one shape to the next, frantic to find the one piece that fits. And the tragedy is that nothing ever does.
Sometimes, we refuse to set a piece aside, and we try to force it into our hearts, even though it's the utterly wrong shape. And we wonder why we end up with broken hearts. We keep trying to force things into our poor, God-created hearts, and those things just don't fit. Our hearts aren't designed for them, and we crack our hearts wide open with our frantic, stubborn, futile efforts.
God, of course, is the answer. Those holes in our hearts are shaped like God, and he is the only thing that will fit, fill up, and fulfill. It's enough to bring tears to my eyes, that God can fit into each of us so perfectly, if only we'll let him. He's sitting beside us on the playing floor, waiting patiently for us to pick him up, look him over, and hold him up to the hole in our hearts. Out of all these pieces lying strewn about me, does this God-shaped one fit into this hole? Finally, is God the piece whose angles are right? The piece whose sides are the right length? Finally, after all the tears and trying, is he the piece that won't hurt?
Yes, he is. And he's waiting for you.