The restlessness of the heart is a two-sided creature. The one is a catalyst, spurring us towards more adventure and accomplishments. The second is a tether, urging us towards more stability and safety. The one beckons us to look beyond ourselves towards discovery and stretched wings. The second urges us to look inward towards self-discipline and security. The one encourages us to jump, sometimes carelessly. The second side urges us to stay put, sometimes cautiously.
The two sides are essential to our humanity. Embedded in each of us is this restlessness that there is more beyond us that we must experience and yet there is more within us that we must value. The embrace of this two-sided restlessness is essential to the pursuit and acceptance of our identity and purpose as humans.
In the wrong proportions for the wrong circumstances, the two sides can create anxiety. Too much reliance upon the one will create incredible impatience in our heart. An overuse of the second will perpetuate a pattern of fearful introversion and missed opportunities. Many of us jump in angst, led by the one without consulting the
second. Many of us sit in fear, led by the second while neglecting the
Somehow, we need to exercise the wisdom of both. But out lives are often lived in segregation. We live divided lives. We disrupt our hearts constantly through stress and fear and worry and frustration. Rare is the person who has figured out how to live peacefully with the restlessness of their heart.
I think that Colossians 3:15 holds the key. We are encouraged by Paul, a man who knew the torment of lopsided restlessness, to "let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts."
Only Jesus, I believe, can bridle the restlessness into the action and depth we were created to know. We are remarkable creations… but we are broken and sliced apart by our sin. Only Christ can heal and restore a wholeness to our identity. Restlessness is part of our created humanity. We are restless for God… we are restless for his righteousness… we are restless for the life we are meant to celebrate and embrace. And only Jesus can harness our restlessness into joy. Jesus "holds all creation together" (Col 1:17).
I pray that we may be strengthened with his glorious power so that we will have all the patience and endurance we need. May we be filled with joy, always thanking God.
There is an inwardness and an outwardness to our faith (Col 3:16-17). Both come from the restlessness in our heart. Both must be pursued and protected. Both sides must be matured and developed. Both must be held by Jesus… exercised and disciplined and empowered by his hands.