Lately, I’ve been a little restless, and before taking the time to write these words, I wasn’t sure why.
My relationship with my wife is great. The church I am privileged to lead is getting stronger by the week. I just started Seminary and I’m super excited about the opportunity I’ve been given to learn at the graduate school level. My financial situation is better than it has ever been, so much so that I just got a “new-used” car!
Though I may have put on a few pounds over the last couple of months, my health is fine. I’m not struggling with any particular sin. I find myself in awe, daily, of what God has done for me through His Son Jesus Christ. The San Francisco Giants just won their third World Series in five years and the Golden State Warriors have the best record in the NBA at the All-Star Break! What’s my problem?
Why do I feel restless? Why do I feel like something is missing? In the midst of so much good going on in so many areas of my life, why do I feel unfulfilled?
It’s quite perplexing.
For the first time in my life, there is very little that I find myself wanting, yet I find myself wanting. There is very little that I find myself waiting for, yet I find myself waiting. I am so fulfilled, yet I find myself so unfulfilled.
As I think through this current state of restlessness, I can’t help but be reminded of these words from the classic work Mere Christianity, by the late C.S. Lewis:
If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.
Though I have come across this quote many times in the past, its’ meaning impacts me more today than it has ever impacted me before.
The truth is, up until now, I have been pursuing desires that I thought would satisfy. Wealth. Comfort. Love. Travel. Notoriety. Influence. Leadership. Entrepreneurship. Pastoring. Jesus.
And though all of these things have satisfied to varying degrees (my relationship with Jesus satisfying me the most), none have done so completely, and now I think I know why.
As Lewis would say, I was made for another world.
In his essay entitled The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis expands his thoughts on this “longing” by writing:
We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we wanted before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.
According to Lewis, this desire for “another world” is the “secret signature of the soul.” What I realize now, is that there is something within me that has always longed for more, I just have never been dissatisfied long enough with the things of this world to be aware of it.
I wasn’t created just to be loved by God, I was created to be loved by God in the presence of God. I wasn’t created just to worship God, I was created to worship God in the presence of God. I wasn’t created just to enjoy God, I was created to enjoy God in the presence of God.
I was created for heaven.
I was created to experience unbroken relationship with Almighty God not only spiritually, but physically, in both time and space.
This explains my restlessness. This explains your restlessness.
Though we can look forward to many moments of great joy and satisfaction in this life, the bottom line is this: until we enter into eternity, restlessness will be our reality.
But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him. - Philippians 3:20-21 (The Message)