All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves. — Blaise Pascal
Pascal was brilliant. The French mathematician and physicist was way ahead of his time. He created the first adding machine, pioneered incredible advancements in science, and even designed the first mass transit system… all in the 1600s. But he was aware of the futility of all that stuff, too. Later in life he penned his most enduring words:
There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.
Created things cannot provide the happiness and fulfillment that we crave. Our possessions, our appearances, our abilities… none of them make the grade in the end; none of them fill the vacuum.
When Jesus said, “I am the true vine” (John 15:1), He claimed to be the way to true fulfillment. He also implied that there are plenty of false vines out there—things that promise to give us happiness and purpose but never fulfill in the end:
- Physical pleasure
The list goes on and on. Each item offers the illusion of fulfillment, but the results are temporary at best.
Yes, we all seek happiness. “This is without exception.” The only question is where do we seek it?
Dear Jesus, I believe You are the true vine. Reveal to me today the false vines that I am trusting in to give me life, purpose, and meaning. Then lead me in the everlasting way. I want to experience the true life that only comes from You. Amen.
Taken from Pete’s 365-day devotional book Experiencing LIFE Today.