There have been moments of unbelievable abundance in my life, but I've also experienced moments of staggering emptiness. And at this time in my life that we're reflecting on, I experienced a moment of profound emptiness. I had been here before, but never like this. Imagine being hungry and wondering if you will ever have your fill ever again. Not that you'll die of starvation, but that you'll be hungry for the rest of your life. That's how I was feeling. The thing is that emptiness cannot be dealt with once and for all. There are times in our lives when we feel so satisfied, so full, brimming and overflowing. One of my most vivid memories of contentment and happiness was just after my daughter, Isabelle, was born. I was laying on my bed and she was laying there next to me making baby noises and smiling. And I was suddenly overcome by this wave of endless gratitude. I kept hearing that line from Lou Gehrig's speech at Yankee Stadium over and over again in my mind. Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I was so happy I just started to cry. It was one of the highs, one of the highest highs of my life. But in the weeks ahead a series of events unfolded so quickly they gave me spiritual whiplash. Life went from record highs to record lows in breakneck speed. And once again, I found myself experiencing profound emptiness and wondering how can such nothingness be so consuming?
We all experience emptiness and we all have ways of dealing with it. I have dealt with emptiness throughout my life in a variety of ways. They have all been equally ineffective except for one. I've tried to fill the void with work, pleasure, comfort, things, and plans for the future, but none of these things bring satisfaction because these things don't rightfully belong in the void. When I am finished distracting myself with these things, the emptiness is still there because these things don't rightfully belong in the void. There is only one approach that has ever worked consistently. I know it works, but still, I resist it. Preferring these other distractions to the real solution. We all share in this insanity. If we observe ourselves in these moments, we gain unique insight into the mess. Every day, we encounter moments of decision. The better path is clear, but we choose another path. The better path leads to the destination we wish to arrive at and still we choose another path. Each time we choose another path, our lives become messier. Learning to deal with our emptiness in a healthy way is one thing. Choosing to deal with emptiness in a healthy way requires self-awareness and courage. The difference between learning and choosing is akin to the difference between knowledge and wisdom. I have only found one way that works. One way that takes care of this emptiness. This is it. Find a quiet place, sit down, close your eyes, acknowledge God's presence, breathe deeply, talk to him briefly about how life has left you empty, and ask God to fill you up. I know. It sounds so simple. Too simple. But the simplicity or complexity is irrelevant. All that matters is, does it work? Does it work? Try for yourself so you can decide for yourself.