Incomplete Joy in the Midst of Abundance

“There is a strange melancholy that haunts the inhabitants. In the midst of abundance, the incomplete joys of this world will never satisfy the human heart.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

This quote from de Tocqueville struck me as I contemplated this feeling of being incomplete. In America, we are showered with an abundance of earthly wealth and blessings, but why is it that we are still constantly searching for more…never satisfied with the many blessings all around us? What are we missing? As I thought through this, I was reminded of Blaise Pascal’s quote recorded in the Pensees. Our generation has not been the first to experience this feeling. Pascal records what he describes as an infinite abyss in our lives and the effect it has on our actions as we live in constant vain efforts to fill it.

“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 (Pg. 75 Pensees)

These two quotes speak to this feeling of being incomplete in our lives. Away from Christ, we will always be seeking for the answers, hopelessly trying to fill this hole with earthly possessions and relationships. Seeking God first, He will give us the other desires of our heart when it is in His plan and timing. There is only one answer to filling this hole/desire and that is letting Christ into our hearts. This is a lot harder than it sounds, but one of the first steps to seeking to fill our lives with Christ is realizing that He is the only one who can fill the holes of our lives.

 

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