John Livingston

Fear and The Hole in Our Hearts

I love the picture painted by Blaisé Pascal of THE HOLE IN OUR HEARTS. A great scientist, theologian, and philosopher this word picture helps explain the need of man for God.

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words, by God Himself.”

― Blaise Pascal, Pensées

Man tries to fill the HOLES IN OUR HEARTS with many things. I know I have. Fame, fortune, drugs, lust— including pornography, sexual deviations, adultery and acting out homosexual proclivities are all ways people try to fill the emptiness that can only be filled by God. When God fills the hole in our heart, He fills it with love. His love turns us outward. Fear is what many people replace God’s love with. Fear turns us inward.

Many of the issues that so divide us culturally, spiritually, and politically, have a bases in fear and manifest themselves with thoughts of victimization and conspiracy. C. S. Lewis opined about the relationship between fear and the hole in the hearts of men:

Fear faces inward. It focuses on what will happen to you if you fail the test. Love faces outward. It focuses on caring for the other person more than you care for yourself. The more you look outward, the less you look inward. The more you love, the less you fear.

The more you are loving God at a particular moment, the less you fear people and circumstances. Isaiah 8:11-13 talks about the attitude believers should have to real or imagined conspiracies and fears.

Politicians and the media create fears in our hearts. Global warming and “The Green New Deal” are based on fear. Covid mitigation strategies were based on fear. The stock market and consumers make many of their decisions based on fear. “Black Swan” events are forecast daily and lead the evening news coverage. We get a skewed view of reality when we fill the hole in our hearts with fear. Decisions based on fear, decisions made as we look inward instead of outward, decisions made not with a loving heart but for selfish interests (different than self-interest) , decisions made for short term gratification and not with an eye to future unintended consequences, all create problems that build on themselves.

Our Founding Fathers when they signed our Great Declaration lived the next five years of their lives with bounties on their heads. Several were imprisoned and several of their family members were imprisoned and had their property confiscated and destroyed. They chose to live lives of hope. Their love of liberty overcame their fear. Our young men and women who fought in wars to free 4million of their fellow human beings and who fought and saved the world from Fascism and Communism—total number of deaths in all wars is over 1million men and women, all overcame their fears, most by filling the holes in their hearts with God. They looked outward and not inward. They lived and died living in love and hope and overcoming their fears.

Life is full of challenges. Covid, Global warming, Y-2 K, nuclear annihilation, inflation, Putin the boogeyman, gasoline prices, drug abuse in a member of one’s family, the loss of a child,—You name it. We can fill the hole in our heart with God and turn outward with love and with hope, or we can fill the hole in our hearts with fear and turn inward and assume the fetal position.

I believe the great divide that we see in our country today is because of the different ways we choose to fill the hole in our own individual hearts. Those who live their lives in constant fear and are always turning inward and are perpetually pessimistic look to government as the solution to their problems. For some maybe government is what is being used to fill that hole. They will always be disappointed. Those who fill the hole in their hearts with THE HOLY SPIRIT, turn outwards with hope and love and are optimistic, no matter what “fear du jour” of the day is on the progressive media menu. The way out of our political and economic malaise is spiritual. That is how America was built and sustained. We need a new Great Awakening. I believe I see it happening. Let’s all turn outward with love and hope. We should always be concerned and alert. Never afraid.

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