Why an Empty Day Can Lead to a Full Life

As I gaze down at the square , a tinge of guilt begins to wash over me. The day on my calendar is blank. Not one pencil scribbling nor erased mark evident.
What do I make of that? The voices surrounding me beckon my mind and my days to be full. A non-stop marathon of ingesting information, engaging in relationships, pursuing dream vacations, and thrusting myself into a plethora of activity.
I’m not sure how to stand still
To simply be. observe. listen. Give Thanks.
That echoes of Sabbath.
Of basking in the presence of my Creator
The opposing voices label the stillness as lazy, withdrawn, unmotivated
“Identity is determined by our activity”
God’s word says my identity is determined my Creator
“Be still and Know I am God” (Psalm 46:10)
The temptation to resolve the uncertainty lurking inside as I recognize an empty day is to find something; anything to prevent the reality
But I’ve been blessed with these hours of life. I long for rest. For enjoyment in simple things. Why do I want to push it away?
Jesus said he came to give us life.  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
But his “full” is different. Ironically, the path to realizing a sacred full life demands emptiness. It means setting aside our own agendas; of which we carry without a second thought, and listen to Our Creator. We find contentment in the submission. We sense fullness as we feast on the voice of the Holy Spirit.
I will strive to find joy in the empty. For it is a Holy gift.
This post is written for the Five Minute Friday Prompt “Empty.” Come join us http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/

11 thoughts on “Why an Empty Day Can Lead to a Full Life

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Interesting to read this today, Stephanie, for a few minutes ago I realized that today would consist of watching DVDs, and trying to stay conscious, ahead of the pain. No ‘serious’ work, though, to be honest, it’s been a long time since I could do serious work that would pass muster in today’s economy.
    Still, I’m diminished, a bit more each day. And I have to find a way to be OK with that.
    Your words help. Blessings to you and yours this Easter.
    #1 at FMF this week.

    1. Stephanie Post author

      Andrew, I have found that when I’m in a position in which I cannot exert much control is when I yield to the blessing. Isn’t it ridiculous that we fight it so hard when it’s always there? Blessing on your Easter!

  2. April

    I love this post! It is such a scary thing to see a blank calendar page… Surely we must have forgotten something?? Surely we must have made a mistake?? It is hard to be still, and content, and at peace with an empty day. Oh, but such a gift once we learn to accept it!!

  3. Jeannie Prinsen

    Beautiful thoughts here, Stephanie. I know that feeling when I look at my date book and say “I have NOTHING going on.” How can that be??? 🙂 You are so right that in our society, activity and accomplishment are markers of our identity and value – and it’s tempting to try to fill that emptiness to justify ourselves. But Jesus’ way is so different. I just love this passage from Matthew 11:28-30 (Message paraphrase):
    “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

  4. Tara

    Yes this: “I will strive to find joy in the empty. For it is a Holy gift.” And indeed “Be still and know!” I’m in the 43 spot this week.

  5. Lesley

    I love your observation that to have a truly full life we need times of emptiness. It’s easy to feel we have to keep going all the time but times of rest where we have no agenda are so important too. It’s not always easy to put into practice but as you say, I think we find joy when we do. Visiting from FMF #12.


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