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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"A hole in my life"

Emptiness and loneliness are not unique to this generation. Nor were they unique to my generation...or the one before that. Nor will they be unique in the next generation and the one to following. Every generation has complained of feeling empty because every person is born with an essential emptiness inside- deep longing for spiritual meaning- an inner vacuum that can only be filled by one thing.

It feels as if theres a hole inside us big enough to drive a truck through. So we follow countless pursuits in our frantic efforts to fill it up. What we want is some sense of purpose and meaning in our lives. We start shoving things into that hole, trying to fill it, stop it from aching, close the distance...make ourselves happy. What will do the job? Money? beauty? Fame?

"A hole in my life" a song sung by the group singer named "police", might be the anthem of our times, great song.

We sometimes think that if we only had money and fame, we would be happy. If only we could be rich- like Aristotle Onassis- but it was his daughter, Christina, who said "Happiness is not based on money, and the greatest proof of that is my family." Shortly after making that statement, Christina Onassis died of a heart failure reportedly as a result of years of abusing tranquilizers and diet pills.

People have long been trying to fill the emptiness in their lives with things. One of the most popular ways has been with drugs. The list is long of those whose lives ended prematurely due to drug use. So many sixties icons have checked out early.
1. Timothy Leary- from the "Dead heads" singer and writer of the song "Hang on, Hang out" and "Turn on, tune in, drop out".
2. Jerry Garcia- one of the long line of successful rock and rollers and Hollywood millionaires.
3. Kieth Moon- drummer for the "Who"
4. Sid Vicious- only 21, of the "sex pistols" dead of a heroin overdose.
5. Elvis Presley, 42, the "King of rock N roll" dead of heart failure due to drugs.
then add rock icons Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison, Comedian John Belushi, and actor River Phoenix. This list goes on and on, tragically ended due to drugs of some sort.

Kurt Corbain Took out a gun and shot himself in his Seattle home. Ironically, he was only a year younger than Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix when they died. Here was a man who had so much. He had success. He had fame. Yet his life was empty- so empty, in fact, that he had begun killing himself with a heroin addiction long before he finally pulled that shot gun trigger. Corbain reportedly wanted to title one of his albums "I hate myself and I want to die." In his suicide note he wrote "I must be one of those narcissists who only appreciate things when they are alone. I'm to sensitive. I haven't felt the excitement for too many years now." His mother was quoted in the newspaper saying "Now he is gone and has joined the stupid club" referring to the other rock stars. "I told him not to join the stupid club", she said.

Maybe you're one of those people who just lives to be happy. Lots of people appear to be doing this today. If you ask them what are they living for, they will say "Happiness." But, if you ask them what happiness is, they're not able to readily define it. What is happiness? I don't know- but I'm looking for it.

Happiness is an elusive thing. I'm not even sure what it is. Is it an emotion? a feeling? a sense of well-being? maybe its one of those qualities that people can't define but everyone recognizes readily when they encounter it.

We often hear people saying that they need to find themselves, but the Bible instructs us to do; Jesus said "You need to lose yourself." He said, and I read this in the Bible last night; "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matthew 16:24-25). In other words, forget about yourself. We find life and happiness by seeking God, not our inner selves.

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