Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners


Augustine Tweets for Restless Souls

From Adam and Eve to Augustine to yours truly, we’ve been picking good- looking fruit just for the hell of it and getting burned.

I’m convinced that if he lived today, the early church father, Augustine, would like Twitter and I would be one of his followers.

Augustine once said of the God he worshiped: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

I love that quote.  For one thing, it tweets.  For another, familiarity can breed endearment: I hear the quote all the time, even if I don’t really understand it and am not sure it’s actually true- or at least true for me.

Because it would seem that Augustine is saying here that he was at least once upon a time a restless soul, too, but then met Jesus and found not just a resting place but rest itself.

I have often wished this were true about my own life.  Some dramatic conversion that eliminates all doubt and uncertainty.  A crisis turning point of sorts that finally puts me on some straight and narrow highway of the kind that the prophet Isaiah talks about.

But here is the honest-to-God truth: I’ve “met” Jesus; I love Jesus; and, I’m still a restless soul.

Which is to say that there are some days when I’m not sure I buy this God stuff, don’t know where I’m going and feel very alone.

It’s not that every month I change religions.  You won’t see me shaving my head and joining the Hare Krishnas any time soon.  The Scientologists haven’t cast a spell on me yet.  (Do Scientologists cast spells?  This is the only explanation I can find for Katie Holmes marrying Tom Cruise.)

Like Augustine, then, I’ve found a resting place.  I’ve been a Christian since that fateful day more than a quarter century ago when as a little girl I invited Jesus into my heart, and to this day, Jesus remains the supreme lover of my soul.

I also catch glimpses of Jesus, albeit fleeting ones, every day.  In people.  In nature.  In music.  In the wide-eyed smiles of my children.

I see a crucifix pattern in this God-shaped world everywhere I look.

But my soul finds it hard to rest there- at this site where Jesus loves me and I love Jesus and I am caught up in God’s restoration of everything around me.

The other day my spiritual director asked if I had ever fully surrendered my life to Jesus.

God answers knee mail…sometimes.

I wish I could tell you that right then and there a light bulb went on and I got down on my knees and relinquished control to God, because it had never occurred to me to do this sort of thing ever before.

But that didn’t happen, because I had already “fully surrendered my life to Jesus” in more ways than one.

In several moments across my life with the passion of a lover I had asked God to ravish me.

“Do what you will with me, God.”

“Thy will be done.”

“I surrender.”

I had said all these things and more…but the “rest” Augustine speaks of remained- and still remains- elusive.

The more I think about it, I’m not sure total surrender to God is ever really “restful.”

But what do you think?  Is Augustine’s quote true for you? Do you identify with the metaphor of God as a resting place?  Why or why not?

 

 

 

 

 

 



Previous Posts

Mental Health Break—The Worship Service To End All Worship Services
It's been a while since we've had a mental health break. As a little bit of comic relief at the start of another work week, this clip from a worship service somewhere in America comes from saint and sinner Paul. The comments from readers are just about as funny as the weird break dancing routine in

posted 2:12:30am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Christian Purity: Is God's Mission Possible When Purity Rules?
I had a really weird, somewhat distressing interaction this week, and it is still on my mind days later. It's one of those uncomfortable encounters that you would like to press the "replay" butt

posted 1:40:13pm Sep. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Jesus and the Rich Man: A Sermon on the "Hitler" of Passages.
It's rare that I find myself thinking about Sunday's sermon midweek. This Sunday our pastor Drew Ditzel preached on the familiar story of Jesus and the rich man (Mark 10). The rich man, who says he has kept all the commandments perfectly and has lived a righteous life, comes to Jesus asking what mor

posted 10:40:08am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

The Lie of Invulnerability
This last week has been insane. Family sickness, repairs, car issues, multiple calls from school nurses, including one in which the nurse expressed concern my 7-year-old son had been bitten by a brown recluse spider...and just when I thought it couldn't get worse...viral pinkeye. Two puffy, leaky, r

posted 11:00:49am Sep. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Humor Relief for Religious Extremism
Once again, humor and satire are coming to my aid this morning, this time in response to the twisted and evil extensions of religion that seeks to coerce and control with violence and worldly forms of power (best embodied these days in the form of ISIS and its affiliates). The Palestinian televis

posted 10:36:57am Sep. 03, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.