As an average Joe Bloggs having a hole in the soul, a spiritual thirst or a massive empty feeling in the middle of your being is bloody annoying to say the least. It permeated every area of my normal life and daily living activities. It rises from the murky depths of self that even my consciousness is not aware of. If your like me, you’ve planned for a successful life, full of money, property, luxury and security. These are not unnatural goals for the average person. Most kids want to be rock stars, most adults want to succeed financially and romantically and we set about trying to attain these things.
When I was younger I pursued these goals with fervour. My single minded focus on being somebody was unshakeable. Then the nagging emptiness started to reveal itself into my psyche, only slight at first, and then later as loud as the funeral tolling of a cathedral bell. Disturbing my every waking thought and feeling. Whatever I had achieved in life fell away like flour through a sieve. I developed a Midas touch for disaster and misfortune. Failure wrapped itself around me like a cloak I could not shake off. And the inner empty calling got louder and louder.
I struggled in understanding what was wrong with me. After spending £1000’s on psychotherapy and multiple drug prescriptions I was still left with a vacant sense of self and the weight of this emptiness had grown heavier and heavier. Depression had moved in and made its home in my soul and there was simply nothing I could do to shake it. I simply did not understand what was wrong with me, why I felt so empty and lost in life or what the nagging empty feeling in my gut that clawed at my consciousness was. I was stumped, washed up and defeated.
All through my denial, my resistance and rebellion God’s voice called. Refusing to let me go this higher power chased me down the backstreets of my soul even when I knew nothing of it, even though I was surface deep and longed only for riches and fame (and still do most of the time). Despite my wrong living a higher power refused to leave me be. It reminds me of a poem I heard a long time ago about the Hound of Heaven:
HOUND OF HEAVEN
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat—and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.’
I pleaded, outlaw-wise,
By many a hearted casement, curtained red,
Trellised with intertwining charities;
(For, though I knew His love Who followèd,
Yet was I sore adread
Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside).
But, if one little casement parted wide,
The gust of His approach would clash it to.
Fear wist not to evade, as Love wist to pursue.
Across the margent of the world I fled,
And troubled the gold gateways of the stars,
Smiting for shelter on their clangèd bars;
Fretted to dulcet jars
And silvern chatter the pale ports o’ the moon.
I said to Dawn: Be sudden—to Eve: Be soon;
With thy young skiey blossoms heap me over
From this tremendous Lover—
Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see!