For me, empty seems like a negative term. Empty means the loss of something, the absence of something. I don’t want to feel empty. I don’t like an empty schedule. I don’t like an empty bowl of ice cream. I don’t like an empty stomach. I don’t like an empty child’s bed at 5:00 a.m.
But in some ways, empty is a new beginning. Without emptying, there’s no room for anything new. To empty is to leave open, to make room.
Easter is the best example. The emptying of Jesus, the loss of his life, the emptying of the tomb, the absence of a body: these are the new beginnings, the beginning of heaven on earth. The beginning of the best possible thing, the best possible life.
It’s kind of like when my kids ask for juice, and I ask them to empty their cup first. There’s some water in there, and if I just added the juice, it’d be less sweet. But if they empty it first, the juice will flow in at full sweetness.
I often pray “more of You, less of me.” I rarely truly mean it because the first step is an emptying: the emptying of me, so Jesus isn’t so diluted.