Buechner in search of the God Hole

Buechner In Search of the God Hole

“FOR ADAM AND EVE, time started with their expulsion from the garden. For me, it started with the opening of a door. For all the sons and daughters of Eve, it starts at whatever moment it is at which the unthinking and timeless innocence of childhood ends, which may be either a dramatic moment, as it was for me, or a moment or series of moments so subtle and undramatic that we scarcely recognize them. But one way or another the journey through time starts for us all, and for all of us, too, that journey is in at least one sense the same journey because what it is primarily, I think, is a journey in search. Each must say for himself what he searches for, and there will be as many answers as there are searchers, but perhaps there are certain general answers that will do for us all. We search for a self to be. We search for other selves to love. We search for work to do. And since even when to one degree or another we find these things, we find also that there is still something crucial missing which we have not found, we search for that unfound thing too, even though we do not know its name or where it is to be found or even if it is to be found at all.”

Frederick Buechner, Originally published in The Sacred Journey

Greek vase of Odysseus chained to boat with winged Sirens hovering

Greek vase of Odysseus chained to boat with winged Sirens hovering

Buechner so well describes what others have called the search for and our attempt to fill our “God hole”. There is a paradox within us. Within each of us there is a part, a spark of the divine, a part of God within us. Also within ourselves is an emptiness, a God hole, which can only be filled by that relationship with God, the God of our understanding, a power greater than ourselves. Our society presents to us a smorgasbord of possibilities to fill that God hole, fame, fortune, a career, work, family, relationships, alcohol, sex, drugs. Some options more quickly fill the hole than others. Some are basically good for us, but they turn on us when they become the most important part of our life. They become the god of our understanding. My experience is that only God, a relationship with God, turning our life and our will over to God will fill that hole and bring us peace. More and more our society tells us that the other choices are what will bring us peace and happiness. So, we may find a relationship with God, but then we start to miss our relationship with one of the other possibilities. They all can be like the Sirens of Greek mythology constantly calling us and luring us with their enchanting music to a rocky coast where we ultimately will be shipwrecked.  Sometimes one shipwreck is enough to get our attention, sometimes it takes many. Sometimes we must be ultimately and completely destroyed before we get the message. Is there any hope? I weekly visit a place where I see a room full of miracles, a room with almost standing room only with people who have been shipwrecked and who know their only hope is to fill their God hole with the God of their understanding, a power greater than themselves. They are holding up and encouraging each other, and they clap when they see God peeking up out of the hole for all to see. They call it a 12-step meeting.

Joanna joannaseibert.com