Saturday, November 22, 2008

Augustine knew he was restless

"There is in man, a restlessness of ambition...a dissatisfaction
with the present, which never is appeased by all the world has
to unsated appetancy for something larger and better,
which he fancies in the perspective before him--to all which there
is nothing like among the inferior animals."
~Thomas Chalmers 1822 Bridgewater treatise

You're looking, but you cannot find. You long for those places and those things you dream about, and you think that fulfillment and happiness are there. You own things. Do you remember how happy you were when you bought that last gadget, that last item, that last whatever that you wanted most? You were happy then, and you thought you would be perfectly content with it and that nothing else would be necessary. But the novelty wore off, and you were restless again. You hunger, but for what? Even you can't put it into words.

You dream of success and acclamation. Colleagues shaking your hand for a job well done; soliciting your wisdom and your advice in matters that baffle their intellect. Yet, if that life was granted, the thirst for that something else would arise once again. You feel dissatisfied, so again you search for that something else that until you find, you will have no peace of mind. You will place your hopes in material goods only to experience, yet again, an erosion of emotion when it's no longer new, and you've grown tired of it.

So you search and you search and you search...


Shirley said...

Tom please check out this post on Aussie Coffee Shop;
It will tell you who the author of dissatisfaction is.

Kimberly said...

Thank you for this post!! God Bless you Tom!!

Blessed be God forever!


Tom in Vegas said...


Thank you for the video suggestion. Much of what was said in it was completely true.

In this post, however, I'm referencing the "restlessness" St. Augustine spoke about in the opening paragraph of his Confessions: "Lord, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts our restless until they rest in you." That is to say, away from God a human being knows no peace - wether he or she realizes it or not - and will seek out comfort in hoarding material goods or envisioning what they perceive is the ideal life. All material goods eventually lose their novelty and something must replace them (usually more material goods), and sometimes we achieve the life we want but once we get there, the restlessness or desire for something else continues. In this scenario, the devil doesn’t really play a role. It is the ontological desire for God that keeps us uneasy until we are unified with him.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

I get it. Great post. Very timely considering the materialist season we are about to embark upon. All the "Guitar Heros" in the world will not satisfy the soul. Only find God will do that.