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The beginning of a new year is a strange time. Everyone wakes from weeks of timeless revelry to throw themselves headlong into new initiatives and goals all aimed at changing what has been. We love the idea of change, and perhaps are even addicted to it. This fascination clearly points to a pervasive dissatisfaction with what is. We wouldn’t crave change so desperately if we didn’t loathe the current state of affairs so subconsciously. The solution is not more change, but understanding the restlessness that lies at our core.

We like to think of our souls as naturally calm and together places. It is external causes that bring storms and chaos into our life. If we are able to remove or change the circumstance causing pain or discomfort, we then return to our natural restful and peaceful disposition at the soul level. So we think. This isn’t merely an innate idea, but one further reinforced by many cultures and ideologies. I call BS.

Our souls are less of a tranquil lake, and more of a restless, raging sea searching for something to both contain and fill us. We feverishly seek rest and satisfaction because it does not already reside within. We know this because we have lived it. We’ve felt the pull to seek life and joy and beauty in the things around us, only to be let down when those very things are unable to carry the weight of our eternal existence. When let down by what we thought would hold us, we set out to find the next place of rest and belonging. It is not a cycle, but a downward spiral, where bit by bit the soul is torn and shredded by the things unfit to hold it. We become less of who we are. We experience restlessness coupled with a pervasive longing for home.

There is a way out of the spiral, and it’s allowing your soul to be met by the Maker of it. Jesus offers belonging completely and eternally. The raging sea that is our soul can only find rest when it allows itself to be received into the ocean that is Jesus. He is the only thing able to contain and fill the depth of human soul. In the context of this relationship, the soul lives and breathes as its most dynamic self. We only find rest here, because Jesus moves with and in us. It is satisfaction at its fullest. If there’s any change needed this year, it’s to remember this deep and life sustaining truth. We don’t find rest by striving to manipulate what is external or superficial, we find rest when we continually come home to Jesus. Only when He is our rest can we move outward into our circumstances and no longer look to lesser things for life eternal. He is home. He is rest. Let Him be your goal for 2018.

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Joe Danehower

Business strategy consultant living in Charleston, SC. Aggressively average rock climber. Obsessive consumer of books, music, and podcasts. I'm not as funny as I think I am.

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