Monday, November 30, 2009

Restless Heart

Life is hard. Joyful, but hard. Even some of the things you enjoy the most, like holidays, can often be difficult. Traditions are broken, people change, expectations are left unmet. Everyone grows up, including all your siblings, and the magical holidays of your childhood are suddenly only a memory.

Why does it have to be like that? Why do we get frustrated and hurt and saddened when things don't go exactly the way we had planned? Someone in the family decides they want to spend more time with another cousin instead of you. A married sister intends to go with her husband's family rather than your own. Your husband has a tiff with his father. Your own mother forgets to call.

We're not perfect. We're human. We're fallen. Often we look to our family as the greatest source of happiness in our lives, the people who are supposed to make us feel good about ourselves, the people who love us the most. We have expectations of them. They're family, we say, of course they will do all they can to love us and take care of us.

But they are not God. God alone can fill the void in our hearts. God alone is what we were created for. Family certainly brings us closer to God, but it is not the end all. God is our Father; God is our Family. We were created to live in Him. He alone will never disappoint. As Saint Augustine would say, "You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts is restless until it rests in you."

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