“Our hearts are restless until they find rest in you” – Saint Augustine
When I returned to ministry at the Jesuit Spiritual Center in the new year, I resolved to devote more of my time to personal prayer and growing as a retreat minister. In the past few weeks, God has graced me with the opportunity to see the fruits of my prayers and efforts. For instance, I am becoming more comfortable sharing my witness talk. I know I still have a lot of room to grow in sharing my story, but I am not losing quite as much sleep from my nerves! My experience as a small group leader is also improving. I am learning how to ask questions that challenge our retreatants and lead to deeper, more natural conversations. I am talking less during small groups and listening more.
Community life at the Rock House is also helping me grow both personally and as a minster. I love having other youth ministers to pray with, talk to about ministry, and simply share the joys and challenges of life. One highlight of the past couple months was enjoying a snow day together and sledding down some of the amazing hills on JSC’s campus!
Outside of my work at the Jesuit Spiritual Center, I have also joined a book club about St. Therese’s “Story of a Soul,” started cantoring with the choir at a local parish, and attended several Catholic young adult events throughout the Cincinnati area.
Yet, amidst all these wonderful opportunities for prayer, ministerial growth, and meeting new people, I have still felt incredibly restless at times.
Meeting new people can leave me feeling lonely because I long for deeper friendships than can be formed in a brief evening of fellowship. Despite my best efforts at ministry, I can’t reach every retreatant and this reality can leave me feeling burnout.
What are you Seeking?
When Jesus first calls his disciples, he asks them: “What are you seeking?” (John 1:37). This Lent, I have been reflecting on this very question. As I examen my life, I know I am seeking to love and serve others. I desire true friendships and to be accepted and loved. I am longing to be the best retreat minister I can possibly be.
But, I rarely ask myself the question: “What is God seeking in me?”
In beautiful simplicity: God is seeking my love. God desires my restless heart.
Restlessness in the Seeking
The restlessness in my life right now reminds me that everything I seek in this world will never fully satisfy me. Only the peace of God can overcome the sting of loneliness, the exhaustion of burnout, and the empty striving of restlessness. In seeking God, I find the friendship, love, and peace my restless heart desires.
What part of your life makes you the most restless?
Where do you find rest?
What are you seeking?
What is God seeking in you?