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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bon Voyage (09/05/05)

TITLE: Nature Hates Vacuum
By Daniel Owino Ogweno


There is one thing that is impossible; two that nature doesn't allow: Fish cannot live in water, and remain dry; air cannot allow an open space to have its freedom on the planet earth.

Try the following simple experiment:
Step 1: Take a bottle
Step 2: Using your mouth, suck as much air out of the bottle as you possibly can.
Step 3: Try disengaging your mouth.

The bottle will not let go your lips. Either you will have to give something back into the bottle or your mouth will instantly lose its freedom. The bottle will arrest it.

Nature hates vacuum. Something has to be filled with something. If not, the pressure by the demand exerted by nature will ensure that something is arrested and freedom lost.

McPeters and Cildans were great friends (the names have been changed). McPeters had applied for the green card visa to the US. For many from the developing world, getting a green card to live and work in USA is one of the sweet dreams come true. This dream had materialised for McPeters.

To Cildans, life is a journey. Going to a new land with new opportunities and challenges makes life adventurous. This is what he felt for his friend—he was happy for him.

The time came for McPeters to leave. The taxi had parked, the suitcases were packed. Soon they would be headed for the airport. His face shone with anticipation, the future looked bright. What more could a man ask for:
Jesus: accepted in the heart;
Family: exuberant children and a beautiful wife;
Education: PhD. attained;
Country: USA, the land of plenty.

As the taxi drove slowly down the driveway, Cildans could only shout, "Bon Voyage! We will meet again, here or There!"

They almost lost contacts. Eight years later and they hadn’t been in contact. Cildans took initiative and tried a search in Google. Less than five seconds and McPeters contact was on the screen. The first e-mail he got from McPeters in response to the e-mail he had written was shocking—McPeters had lost his faith in Christianity. He allegedly read something that 'opened' his eyes. According to him, he “now believes in nothing”.

The grim possibility that they may not share the eternal abode together dawned on Cildans. To him, losing faith in Christ is losing the way in the journey of life. What happened to the “Bon voyage” wishes?

Can a human being not believe in anything?

Back to the bottle/air relationship. Air usually fills the bottle without “announcing” its presence. If milk is poured into a transparent bottle, we would tell that there is something (milk) in the bottle because we can see it. On the contrary, if the bottle has only air, we will say that the bottle is “empty”. But is this true? The truth is that the bottle is full of air. Air can “hide” in the bottle and create the illusion that the bottle is empty because air doesn’t “scream” about its presence.

Just as nature hates vacuum, so it is with human soul. Human soul hates emptiness. It must believe in something. This “something” may be like air which doesn’t scream about its presence or milk that people would see. People who don’t believe in Christ will always stretch and push themselves to the edge in pursuit of something to fill their soul: money; knowledge; sex; fame; power; job; religion, name it! Some of these things are like air while others are like milk. Unless we give room in our soul for Christ, all these other things will be like air in our life—that is, the more they fill us, the emptier we'll feel and look.

The problem is that when we deny Christ a place in our life, the "airs" of this world wouldn't need our permission to fill our life.
Another problem is that when "air" takes the space in our "bottle", it gives us the illusion that our bottle is empty.

When we start thinking that we don’t believe in anything, we must be careful. We may need to go back to the “sincerity drawing-board”. It is not natural for fish to live in water and yet claim that it can’t be wet. There is no way a human being can help believing in something. We were created to believe—it is innate. Belief is one of the things that make us human.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight09/13/05
Excellent illustration! I had never heard anything like it. It is a little bit of a stretch as far as the topic word 'Bon Voyage' but good message none the less
darlene hight09/13/05
Excellent illustration! I had never heard anything like it. It is a little bit of a stretch as far as the topic word 'Bon Voyage' but good message none the less
Jan Ackerson 09/13/05
I suggest that you take the middle section out and expand it into a short story, and put the beginning and the end together to be an excellent illustrated devotional. Both are good, but they don't seem to belong together.
Phyllis Inniss09/14/05
Good article. I like the way you showed the comparison between the bottle that may look empty and the soul that feels empty; that in reality the soul devoid of Christ will be filled with things that leave it feeling empty.
Kathryn Wickward09/18/05
Nice metaphor. I'd cut the last two paragraphs and tighten the story of the two men a bit.