Recently a woman spoke to me of the restlessness she felt just before giving birth. Her sense of ‘it is time to bring forth this baby’ made me smile. She couldn’t lie down comfortably, she couldn’t sit down for any length of time, and she didn’t know what else she could do until it was the baby’s time to come.
As I pondered her experience, I could identify with her restlessness. There is a part of the human spirit that is restless. It is a sense that something is happening whose time has come and yet there is nothing I can do to make it happen faster.
As St. Augustine wrote: “our hearts are restless until they rest in you O God”. I always understood this in terms of death – I thought that we don’t really rest until we die. But over these past months, I have sensed that we rest in God in the here and now. Restlessness is a response to the movement of God within the depths of our souls.
Life presents so many opportunities to be active. There is always something more to do, something more we need, something more we can let go. There are always questions that challenge all we believe about goodness, about truth, about love.
We hear the cries of men and women who received news of the tragic death of loved ones. We see the statistics about abuse of children and adults. We are confronted by the hostility of war and become despondent in our inability to make a difference in the lives of so many people, animals and the earth. Restlessness is the soul’s invitation to hold all of life in the Heart of God.
The next time you feel restless, take a moment and ask yourself if this is a movement of Love. Is there something you are being asked to hold in Love? Is there something you are intuiting that is being birthed through you? Is God inviting you into a more intimate relationship? Rest in God!