Finding Rest

Great are You, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is Your power, and of Your wisdom there is no end. And man, being a part of Your creation, desires to praise You, man, who bears about with him his mortality, the witness of his sin, even the witness that You resist the proud, — yet man, this part of Your creation, desires to praise You. You move us to delight in praising You; for You have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in You.

The Confessions, St. Augustine Book I, Chapter I

Life can seem like a burden at times. I find myself longing for safety and rest. I feel this most of all when I cannot sleep and lie awake in the middle of the night, my mind racing about all my worries. My ego desires separation. My ego wants me to stand out, rise above, succeed. My ego castigates me when I fail. My ego separates me from God. This is its work and its work is burdensome.

By contrast, approaching God is restful. If I am to approach God and I must approach him from within me because it is within me that I generate my thoughts and feelings. Within me is the only place I can know truth.

But I must admit I don’t know anything. I must accept the possibility that there is no God. And if there is no God then all my existence is ego and the prospect of non-existence seems like rest. However, if there truly is God then I want to connect with him. I must do this internally which means he is within me, a part of me and I am with him. The opposite of this is ego.

In life I must find that space of whole-heartedness. When I act with a whole heart my work is not burdensome. When I act with ego my work becomes a burden. As I said, it is ego that wants me to separate and stand above other people. It is ego that wants me to separate from God. When I find my base in God, I can do other things in the world. But I must start there.

I don’t know if this meditation (perhaps my ego would call it ramblings) is blasphemous or in error. I suspect other egos might label it as such. But I can only know God in my own way. Everything else is “out there” and separate and something I must strive to understand. Only within me is there understanding. Where else could it be? I am grateful for those things outside of me that bring me to understanding but they are all only a means to an end. They are all things I must test and learn to trust. I can only ever truly rely upon and trust myself because I do not know with certainty all those things outside of me. But if God resides inside of me then I can truly trust and find rest in him.

 

 

 

 

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