What are we Missing?

By Mark Lauver, RMHCI

For those of you who do not remember the game of Pac man I will excuse your youth and give a brief explanation. The goal of the game is to chomp your way to the end of the maze consuming dots along the way while avoiding “ghosts” to reach the finish. It was a very popular game in the 1980’s. The ironic thing about the game was that as you went through the game successfully and chomped, chomped your way to the finish, the Pac man icon would never be completely full. So you would move onto the next screen and start over again. (To be gender neutral there was a Ms. Pac man game who suffered the same eventual incomplete fate).

Don’t our lives feel like that? We move from one goal to another and one stage to another all the while feeling incomplete. There is something still missing. So we go to college, chomp, chomp, start a career, get married, chomp, chomp, have children, chomp, chomp, watch them grow and move out (hopefully) chomp, chomp and then still have that empty feeling. This is just one example of a life path, there are many others. So what is missing? Why do we feel incomplete?

There are many articles of people talking about their “bucket lists”. There is nothing inherently wrong with having goals in life and actually there are positive reasons to set them to help keep us on track. But what happens when we reach them? Is life over? What do you look forward to now? That is the eternal question. If we still feel incomplete and we do what is next, what else will you chase? As counselors we see many people who are at that crossroad in life. We see couples who have been married several years and have lost that “spark” in their marriage. We see individuals who have tried many different career paths who now feel “stuck”. We see people that on the outside and in the world’s eyes have everything, but on the inside they still feel empty and lost.

A hard reality of our life is that everything that surrounds us is temporary. Look around your house. Everything you see will be gone in a month, a year, ten years or in a hundred years. That includes the people in your life. The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

When Adam was created in the image of God as an eternal being, then sinned, generationally we all lost a piece of ourselves. He turned away from God, thus the separation and emptiness began. Remember, this is all part of God’s plan. We are incomplete. The missing piece is not the next job, the next relationship, the next trip or bucket list item. The missing piece is growing our relationship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. This relationship with God’s love and grace is the only permanent eternal thing in our lives that can ever make us feel complete.

This is how God made us. Only He can fill in the void. If you struggle with Pac man-like emptiness or with “ghosts” that are chomping out of control, reach out to us, we can help you find the real way to feel full.