8/26/09

An Actor's Confession

As I rested on June 14, recovering from a long struggle with bronchitis and pneumonia, I read my newspaper’s magazine, Parade. One article in particular, "The Mixed-Up Life of Shia LaBeouf," pp. 4-5) gripped my heart. The 23-year-old star of Transformers and Holes told interviewer Dotson Rader about his insecurities and disillusionment; but this part of his transparent interview revealed his heart: “I don’t handle fame well,” he said. “Most actors on most days don’t think they’re worthy. I have no idea where this insecurity comes from, but it’s a God-sized hole. If I knew, I’d fill it, and I’d be on my way.”

A God-sized hole. The concept isn’t new. The philosopher Pascal wrote, “Where 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.” (Pensees, 10.148). The Church Father Augustine wrote (Confessions, 1.1.1), “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.”

People stuff alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, food, compulsive spending, thrill-seeking, personal “goodness,” and many other things into the emptiness of their lives, but when the façade cracks, they instinctively know that there is “something more.” Without God, our hearts are deluded and sinful (Jer. 17:9; Eccl. 9:3). In fact, the human heart and mind are hostile to God until He comes in to fill the void with Himself (Romans 8:7).

We were made for eternity (Eccl. 3:11), and nothing else completely satisfies our souls except eternal life with our Creator. He places His fingerprints around us and within us to point us to Himself (Psalm 19:1-2; Romans 1:20). All religions try to connect man with God in some way (through traditions, rules, and works, primarily), but in biblical Christianity, God connects to man through His Son (1 John 4:19; Luke 19:10). My prayer is that Shia LaBeouf will come to know life in God—the security he seeks.

What do you try to stuff into the place where only God belongs? Is God your Best Friend? See "Better Ways to Connect with Your BFF."

2 comments:

Maria Keckler said...

Dawn,

As I read your wonderful challenge I was reminded that depression, anxiety, and worry can leave even believers with a God size hole -- one that only God can fill. Amazingly, human instinct aims to fill that hole with other "substitutes"--food, people, busyness, money, etc., but it's no use--a God size hole can only be filled with God himself. Thank you for the reminder and challenge.

Dawn Wilson said...

Right, Maria. Like the nursery rhyme that says "when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall." Even believers can trust in flimsy boughs, and then be surprised when their lives fall apart. Oh that we all will realize we must trust in God--and God alone.