I confess that I feel restless 75 percent of the time, and it comes out in a variety of ways. I get restless and then I don’t know what to do.
My foot does this weird jittery thing, I bite my nails, I eat snacks, and I go on drives because I don’t know what to do. Well, generally it’s not because I don’t know what to do. It’s because I feel overwhelmed by what I want to do.
Most of the time, my restlessness comes from actually seeing an end goal, but not knowing how on earth I am supposed to get there.
I think I have always blamed my restlessness on a lack of direction or in saying that I don’t know what I want. To be honest, I think I do know what I want a lot of the time. I just don’t know how to get there, and in my futile thinking, I get antsy in doing anything that doesn’t seem like a straight shot to my idealized future goal. I think in someways the restlessness is a longing for a perfect world, and in some ways, this is holy. I’ve been thinking a lot about my restlessness in a spiritual sense .Some part of it is discontentment, but recently, I’ve recognized that at my core, my restlessness stems from one thing:
I long for the feeling of being home.
I long for heaven, where this feeling with be permanent rather than fleeting.
My moments of restlessness come when I recognize the “so much more” that the Gospel offers. I’ve been reading through C.S. Lewis’s book The Weight of Glory recently. And it’s really opened my eyes up to my own restlessness. I carry a weight because out of the knowledge that there is Paradise waiting for me.
Lewis discusses our desires and explains how if we were to consider the unblushing promises of the Gospel, we would realize that our desires for a more life giving reality are not too strong, but too weak. We settle for so much less that what is at stake and as he puts it so bluntly, “ We are far too easily pleased.”
But then, I get glimpses of heaven, and crave more and more. I’m restless waiting for heaven to enter in, to break through the skies and enter in because I just want to be home.
So what do I do with this restlessness? I think of Paul’s words in Philippians. This yearning to be in his eternal home resonated deep within him as he wrote “I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain is the flesh is more necessary on your account.”
His words show me that my restlessness must lead to look outside of myself to the people around me. If it was just about me, to be with Christ is my greatest reward. But then I think about the blessing and burden I carry in knowing what is waiting for me. It burdens me with a longing to know that everything here is just a glimpse of what is to come, but it reminds me that there are so many others that have not been told, do not understand, or have forgotten what is to come.
May we be thankful for the moments that we have touched heaven and tapped into moments of joy and freedom. May they serve as reminders of what is waiting. But let us not crave this paradise only for ourselves, but for everyone we meet.
May we reflect on our longing with heaven and may it catapult us into prayer for God’s kingdom to invade earth so that everyone can receive glimpses of what is yet to come.
And then may we rejoice in the hope that even the most heavenly foreshowing is just a glimpse.