Sometimes, restlessness consumes us. Have you ever caught yourself tapping your phone awake every other minute awaiting a response? Refreshing your email every 90 seconds in anticipation? Perhaps you find yourself as a concerned mother waiting for your child’s, “I made it home safely”; a high school senior eagerly anticipating, “Congratulations on your acceptance!”; a recent college grad looking forward to, “We’re delighted to have you on our team”; an enamored young woman looking for an “I love you too”… While we wait, we are restless.
Single and Waiting
Relationships too have the ability to deplete us. The pursuit of love already consumes us. Our infinite thirst for the three A’s (attention, affection, admiration) can drive us to borderline insanity. We grasp and grasp. We download dating apps, drag our feet to Catholic/Christian Young Adult events, pull ourselves to parties where our brain whispers, maybe you’ll meet someone this time. While we wait, we are restless.
As we await a response, our heartbeats misalign and anxiety settles over us. What can possibly quiet our impatience? The answer: a response.
Yet, when all is said and done, the response we waited for brings only temporary solace. Then another concern emerges. It demands yet another response, feeding the cycle of craving into fulfillment into craving again.
Similarly, the relationship we desperately chased and prayed for does not fulfill our heart’s deepest longings, although it may seem to momentarily.
The truth is, we seek infinite satiety.
What are We Really Craving?
I discovered (somewhat recently) that a craving for dark chocolate can only be satisfied by consuming dark chocolate. I tried satiating my thirst with a smoothie, a cookie, ice cream, and even milk chocolate. But, since it was really dark chocolate I was craving, dark chocolate I sought. One piece of dark chocolate later and the craving is satisfied. But the next day I’m sure I’ll crave again, and again, and again…
So, it follows: our infinite thirst for love can only be satisfied by infinite Love.
Do you read those words and know it to be true in your head or do you read those words and know it to be true in your head and heart? There is a huge difference between knowing a truth abstractly and knowing a truth in reality.
Knowing in Our Head and Our Heart
For example, we all know about death. We hear about it almost daily. But few of us really know the reality of death from losing a loved one. An even smaller subset of us have had a near-death experience. For those who have tasted their life beginning to slip from their hands, death was a reality. For those who watched their beloved aunt, uncle, cousin, sister, brother, mother, father, friend, or spouse slip into the deep sleep, death was a reality.
For those of us who have never experienced death as a reality, we only understand it abstractly and try our best to empathize (some are better than others) with those for whom it is a reality.
Love is the same.
Few of us know the reality of being loved infinitely. Most of us (hopefully) know the reality of being loved imperfectly and humanly. Ideally, the love we encounter from our friends and family is a reflection of God’s infinite love for us. A handful of us Christians know the abstract, yet we do not fully comprehend.
How can we truly know, in the depths of our hearts, the reality of God’s love for us?
God is the Answer
It took heartbreak after heartbreak to come to know the reality of God’s love in my own life. In my last relationship, I found myself frustrated when my boyfriend could not read my mind and know exactly how I felt and exactly what I wanted. I found myself kicking and screaming, begging to be let go because my yearning for love was not being fulfilled. I was desperate to be known, to be understood. How silly of me to think that this man could fill my emptiness! How could a finite man offer himself up for my infinite appetite?
In order to know the reality of God’s love for us, we must experience it. In order to experience it, we must allow ourselves to experience it. This requires an openness. Openness demands we make room in our hearts. The empty space beckons to be filled by Goodness.
We no longer await a response, for the response has been given. We are now the ones who must respond to God. We no longer await a perfect relationship, for the relationship is offered to us each day in the words “this is my Body, this is my Blood, given up for you.” Everything has changed now that we hear “I thirst” coming from the Man on the Cross. He thirsts for you. It is up to us to respond. Now, while He awaits our response, He is restless.While We Wait, We are Restless #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Sabrina McCormack is a high school Biology and Theology of the Body teacher in northern Virginia. She’s a big fan of Our Blessed Mother, St. John Paul II, and St. Kateri Tekakwitha. In her free time, you can find her hiking on the Appalachian trail, playing guitar on her front porch, reading books by Venerable Fulton Sheen, or planning her next big European adventure.