You have made us for Yourself, oh Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. -St. Augustine
Very few people understand the idea of restlessness as we’ll as Augustine did. In addition to being a womanizer, he could drink and party with the best of them. But his pleasure-seeking, popularity, and comfortable lifestyle left Augustine feeling empty… ultimately leading him back to the arms of the God who created and loved him. He would go on to become the Bishop of Hippo in Northern Africa and a doctor of the Church. Augustine tells his story in his Confessions, and his example offers insight for all of us.
We live in a time and place much like Augustine did, one which promises that sex, wealth, and popularity are not only the greatest things we can experience, but that it is through these that we will find our meaning. People work harder to make more money and get more things, they do all they can to be ‘loved’ and accepted by others, and supermarket checkouts are lines with magazines which try to make us have the most pleasurable sex possible.
As has been the case throughout human history, these three aren’t able to fulfill what they seen to promise. As Augustine discovered sixteen centuries ago, they may mask the restlessness of the human heart for a time, but they do not full it. One only needs to examine the lives of Hollywood celebrities caught in addiction or depression, sports figures who cheat on their supermodel spouses, or millionaire hockey players and billionaire owners who are (again) on the brink of shutting down their sport because they want more, more, more…
This void deep within is a desire to be loved, unconditionally and wholly, a desire which is only ever completely filled by God. It’s something He seems to have imprinted in us so that we will seek after Him: a God shaped hole He left in us by design.
Why are we able to believe? The simple answer is that we have been made to believe – to know, love, and serve God in this life and the next – and not believing means missing out on a big part of what it means to be human. God designed us to seek Him and once we find Him, He loves the innermost part of our being, revealing to us exactly why we are here.
“To be a human means to come from God and to go to God.” -YouCat 1