Filling the Empty Spaces

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By Bill Koch


How do you define or describe empty spaces? What are they really? Yet our lives are filled with them. And we rarely take the time to contemplate the empty spaces of our lives.

We strive, nonetheless, to keep our empty spaces filled. With something. With someone. An idea. A compulsion. A family. A vision. A comfortable preoccupation. A tender distraction.

Often, we fill our spaces with activity. We keep moving, going here and there, doing this and doing that.

But the empty spaces of our hearts one day come calling: What have you done? Why are you filling me with this when I wanted that? And sometimes the empty spaces are grateful for the investments we’ve made.

Nevertheless, we all possess our own empty spaces, identical with each other yet so strikingly unique. It is the stuff that points us upward and outward, although we too often only go wayward.

The call of the emptiness of our hearts directs us to our humanness, not our humanity. (Humanity is just another inexpensive cliché of second-string philosophers and soft-soap politicians.)

It is our humanness that connects us inexplicably to our individual worth, inexpressibly infinite, unique, precious and eternal. That noisome rattling of our emptiness serves to awaken us to our significance, so rich, resplendent, abundant and fabulous, as it is established upon divinity’s foundation.

We, however, perpetually strive to fill that mischievous emptiness with all the wrong material, fleeting, short lived and unfulfilling. We take the long route to avoid life’s screaming stillness that always beckons us to account.

As we live and as we age, we feel more poignantly the hard drive to fill the holes that were ripped into our hearts when we looked away from the ageless mystique woven into our spirits.

We regain our place when we learn to recognize the inimitable esteem we as humans may possess – from beginning to end.

We are potentially magnificent, created to rule and reign, but tragically we forsake our higher callings for those cheap, soiled substitutes our culture and lifestyles proffer; we cast away the sacred to fill our empty spaces with vaporous sustenance and empty experience.

We are, nevertheless, presented day by day with a hundred opportunities to step away from our chrome-plated vanity for the rich substance of human service and sacrifice.

Birth to death. Living rich. Living deep. Living alive. Embracing the wild, wonderful grandeur flowing through each of us. Will we take up our mantles? Will we go with courage and passion?

We, after all, are essential sojourners on individual missions to release the wealth within us. We are to become human again. All of us together.