“Let me be full, let me be empty.”
Impending midterms, 8-page reports, and other tedious assignments afflict us college students. The month of March is infamously the time for these ominous tasks to consume our every waking minute, whether it be physically completing the task or the increasing mental duress as the due date quickly approaches. Many—if not all—of us are pressured by our families, peers, or our own selves to come out of this arduous season with the highest grades we could possibly receive. If not, we fear we would be considered as “failures,” never to move forward in this life. We fear feeling this emptiness.
We find ourselves in a perpetual loop of fearing emptiness and pursuing fullness of earthly pleasures and the emotions they cause us to feel. This fullness is something we yearn for consistently. That’s why we love the feeling of getting an “A”; a high GPA is fulfilling to us. We live in a society where we are told a 4.0 will reward us with fortune and opportunity. If we manage to earn the A’s we want, we are full of satisfaction, pride, and contentment. We are filled with relief. We feel full. We feel good, so why wouldn’t we want to try and get the best grade possible?
Reflect on what habit, item, or lifestyle you have abandoned (or adopted) this Lenten season. What fullness or emptiness have you felt? Do you miss it? Are you content?
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
The Lord asks us to pursue Him with emptiness in our hearts, so that He can fill that void with His love, His Spirit. If we approach Him full of earthly things such as pride and self-satisfaction, there is no room for Him to move in us. We pray Christ will let us be full of His love and Spirit, but we also pray He will let us be empty, so He can thus fulfill us. This cycle allows for us to surrender control to the Lord.
This Lenten season is a new opportunity to empty yourself of an earthly pleasure that would keep you from approaching the Lord with an open heart, mind, and body. Do not fear the emptiness, for Christ has told us He will fill us if only we would first seek His kingdom, His righteousness. If you are still fearful, imagine what the Lord could do if you surrender the control we as human beings desire. Imagine the feeling of contentment coming so easily to you, when it is so difficult to receive through earthly actions. Do not feel empty from a poor grade when the Lord can fill so much higher than that “A” would have ever feel. And so, we pray: “Let me full, let me be empty.”