She sat alone at the table absentmindedly eating her fries as she contemplated her life. She’d been married just six months now but already she felt tired and bored with marriage. She’d always wanted to be married, to find the perfect man and settle down, and then life would be wonderful. Was this really all there was? Maybe if they had a child, things would be better.
He had just sat down with his order when he got the call that nearly destroyed him. He couldn’t believe it! How could they not have given him the promotion? He’d worked so hard for them putting in countless hours away from home on the project. He just had to find a way to get ahead.
They sat together sharing a dessert as they talked about pledge week. They just had to get into the Delta Gamma Phi sorority. If they didn’t their college lives would be ruined. Anybody who was anybody was a Delta.
None of the patrons noticed him at first. He was just a boy filling his cup at the drink dispenser. But as his behavior grew more and more exaggerated, he caught the attention of everyone in the place. At first glance, nothing appeared unusual, but as they watched his behavior grew erratic. As expected, he’d put ice in his cup, fill it and then take a sip. But that’s when his behavior turned odd. He’d make a disgusted face, dump it out and start all over again; each time growing more and more frustrated until he was yelling in dismay. That’s when the manager approached him. “Son”, he said “what are you doing?” The boy looked at him with tears in his eyes and said, “I’m trying to get a Coke but it keeps coming out Dr. Pepper. I hate Dr. Pepper!” The man said gently, “That’s because you’re placing your cup under Dr. Pepper instead of Coke. Here, let me fill it for you.” He handed the boy his cup now filled with Coke. He tasted it then burst into an enormous grin. “Thank you, sir!” he exclaimed, running out the door. The manger turned to face the other patrons and smiled. “That’s what happens when you try to fill up in the wrong place.”
Those words resonated like a gong through the heart of each patron. As one they realized they’d been doing the exact same thing as the little boy, not with their drink choices but with their lives. Each one had been trying to fill themselves up in the wrong place.
Relationships don’t give meaning. Jobs don’t give self-worth and groups don’t give value. None of theses can be found outside of an identity through Christ. Each of us is created with a longing for significance. We search for it in many places: relationships, careers, wealth and accolades but nothing will fill the need. By design, He created us to long for Him by placing a God-shaped hole in our soul. Nothing else we try to fill it with will complete us except for Him.
Are you longing for significance in your life, lacking value or feeling incomplete? If you are, check to see what it is you are filling yourself with. You’ll want to be sure that it comes from the right source. Each day, ask God to fill you anew.
Acts 17:27 -28: 'God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being ... '