CNBC reported this week that self-made billionaire and tech pioneer Elon Musk confessed to the media, “If I'm not in love, if I'm not with a long-term companion, I cannot be happy.” What he has to say tells us a lot about human nature and about our own hearts.
Musk said that, during the Tesla launch of the Model 3 vehicle this summer, he was struggling with severe depression due to his then recent breakup with his girlfriend, Amber Heard. His relationship with the actress lasted a year, following on two previous marriages that had both ended in divorce. He described himself as “morbid” and in “severe emotional pain” after the most recent breakup.
According to the article, Musk once mentioned that, “from the time he was a child, he has never liked being alone.” He explained, “I'm looking for a long-term relationship. I'm not looking for a one-night stand. I'm looking for a serious companion or soulmate, that kind of thing.” Unfortunately, however, even the long-term relationships Musk has had in the past haven’t worked out ideally.
Despite the sadness of his situation, the desires of this billionaire reflect some basic truths about human nature, truths that we find in the pages of Scripture.
First of all, God designed man to be in community and experience companionship. That’s why God created Eve to join and help Adam in the Garden of Eden. That’s also why the body of Christ is made up of many members rather than just one person. Musk’s desire for companionship echoes this original design.
The fact of his experiences with divorce and breakups, however, suggest that even the extended, loving relationships he did experience weren’t enough to keep him happy for the long term. Not only has wealth and success failed to satisfy him, but love has ultimately fallen short of providing him with lasting contentment.
Musk’s experience reminds me of the book of Ecclesiastes, in which the writer reflects that every pleasure he pursued ultimately proved to be fleeting and meaningless, “a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 2:11).
As Musk’s experience shows us, we can’t find happiness in this life by simply piling on worldly achievements or even earthly love. That’s why, even though we were created to enjoy these things, we weren’t created to find fulfillment in those things.
But, if we stop looking for happiness in the stuff of this world and start pursuing our Creator God, we’ll find the only thing that can fill our empty insides and give rest to our restless hearts. As Ecclesiastes 3:14 says, “Everything God does will endure forever,” and that includes his love (Psalm 100:5). I guess you could say that he is our only true “soulmate.”
Leah Hickman is a 2017 graduate of Hillsdale College’s English program. She has written pieces for multiple Hillsdale College campus publications as well as for BreakPoint.org, ChristianAnswers.net/Spotlight, and the Discover Laura Blog. Read more by Leah at aworldofgrasspeople.blogspot.com.
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Ben Rosett
Publication date: November 17, 2017