Rivers, time, and people move. Sure we move from location to location. We pack up and pick up and transition physically. But the real movement is the movement of the human heart. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.” The river moves. Time moves. A person’s life is forever on the move. But how often do we push against the changing stream? Comfort seems to whisper to us, “forward movement is overrated. Stick with me. Stick to the status quo. The idols of comfort and complacency deny the need to travel the stream that ultimately leads to the deepest part of the heart of God.
One of the greatest pieces of Biblical wisdom is this: God has set eternity in the heart of humanity. The brilliant sage of the book of Ecclesiastes says there is something planted deep inside of each of us that craves timelessness. Deeply set in the human consciousness where we hold the feelings we feel, the thoughts we think, and the desires we hold is the notion of the infinite. And I’m starting to believe this is the source of my deepest restlessness. Just as I pat down my pockets looking for car keys and loose change I’ve been groping for the cause of this pervasive unease. This is the unease living below my disdain for the violence I see around the world and across the street. This is the disquiet scaffolding the rising resentment I feel for demagogues and those who benefit from their demagoguery. I’m starting to realize the source of this core restlessness could be the lure of eternity placed in the human heart.
The very moment there was light was the very moment humanity could track time. The very moment humanity could track time by the rising and setting of the sun and the various phases of the moon, was the very moment humanity discovered some of us live a few of those rising and settings and others live more of them. But whatever the length there is inevitably and there is an end. And we begin to hunger for what we do not have. We crave more of those risings and setting. And this desire prompts this internal quest for that which is immortal, timeless and eternal in us all.
There is a built in restlessness and hunger for more. Some would call it existential angst. Some would call it the blues. But whatever we call it I’ve come to the realization this feeling was placed there for a specific reason. This reason being: For us to be disenthralled with the status quo. Eternity is beating against our interior selves to waken us from the slumber of being satisfied with complacency.
It is true God invites into a place of contentment. But contentment is much different than complacency. Contentment is an appreciation for where you are & what you have been given. Contentment is finding joy in the only place joy can be found which is in the now! But complacency is a resignation to the notion that whatever is wrong in my life cannot be changed. Name a mountain complacency has climbed? Has there ever been a race complacency has ever won? Tell me of a problem complacency has solved? From the launching pad of contentment I’m embrace this God given restlessness. My hope is with this embrace I will be strengthened to to do good in my day. So as the river moves and as time moves I pray we join this processional toward eternity.