The Risks in Restlessness

I am a restless person. I don’t like to sit still – at all. When I sleep, I move all over the place. When I sit down to watch a movie, I am always fidgeting and forever pausing it and getting something or just adjusting in my seat.

It should come as no surprise then that I tend toward seeing “sameness” as complacency. I like changing scenery, different faces, and interesting stories. I don’t like to know what is coming.

(This in part is the reason for my fascination with medieval history, because here is a thousand years of history that very few people know anything about. It is full of twists and turns and unexpected stories.)

But there is a risk in restlessness. There are several in fact.

  • If you are restless then, by definition, you don’t rest properly. You are always thinking of something else, working through some challenge.
  • The restless sometimes destroy what is strong to discover what is new.
  • You cannot truly see beauty if you are restlessly moving past it.
  • Restless people tend to be negative toward anything they perceive as static.
  • Eventually, you will overload with all the changes and movement you’re trying to make.

It is a huge, unbiblical mistake to do the opposite of be restless – to rest on your laurels and become wholly consumed with the static. But restlessness can lead to sins just as bad.

When Jesus spoke of being anchored or “abiding”, it was always in the context of our rooting and connection to God the Father (John 15:1-11). He never encouraged us to be static, but he admonished us to find our rest in the Father.

We cannot have vision without foundation, cannot have innovation without commitment, cannot go forward without being faithful.

Father, how are you working in us? What is your divine discontent and what is our human wrecklessness? Help us to see.

Anchor us, Father, in your love and true life. Help me to see and to know what descends from you and is good and light.

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