Sexy mullet man Darcy McAlister sent an email out last week to the youth pastors with an article written by Cameron Stang of Relevant Media Group. It’s a short and sweet article that, for the most part, is quite agreeable. Cameron is simply trying to outline the great paradox and tension of what it means to be holy and separated while still being active participants in the world and culture. Good article.
However, he ends the article with a statement that I think severely hamstrings and misrepresents Jesus: Our generation is looking for something to fill the void in their lives. We have what they’re looking for.
I can only assume that what Cameron is talking about is Jesus. Jesus; the Great Void Filler. If I can be open here for a moment, I’m not too sure that Jesus actually is this great void filler that we so adamantly preach about, in fact, I’m more then a wee bit skeptical.
Every time I hear this phrase I think of a jigsaw puzzle. Like most people, I am yet to find a completed puzzle that has captured my imagination and devotion for longer then a brief instant. When a puzzle is finished and we lock that last key piece into place there is that fleeting moment of satisfaction, a nice picture, and then we move on with life. It looses interest real fast. However, an incomplete puzzle will keep me interested for hours; I might get up and leave the puzzle for a few minutes to go to the bathroom and get some food and I might even leave for a day to go climbing, but the incompleteness of the puzzle brings me back. There is something about searching for the pieces that is much more opium-like then actually locking the final piece into place.
I can’t think of anyone who has ‘come to Jesus’ who has had all of their voids in life filled? Next time a friend approaches me with their confusion, hurt, excitement, anger, joy, or whatever, I am going to pull out a piece of paper and:
let a = your feelings
let b = your problems
let y = the solution
and leave x unknown.
Then, I am going to proudly proclaim that if we let x = Jesus then the problem will work out brilliantly. Jesus the Great Void Filler? The Mathematician maybe? I hope not. I would much rather prefer the intrigue and richness of a poem as opposed to the calculated response of formula.
Let me suggest that Jesus-centered spirituality is less about living a completed life and more about living a life that is incomplete and concerned more about finding then having. Lack of void in life is perfection. Proclaiming lack of void in life is pride.