A Painful Space

On the next to last leg of my trip home, from Albuquerque to Chicago, I began to feel somewhat claustrophobic on the train, was tired of people, and just needed space; I was not in a “good” place, according to my standard.  Like so many other times, I found myself wandering into the Observation Car, which, if anything, allowed me to feel like I was in a bigger world because of all the windows; I went as far as sleeping in that car that evening.  I just couldn’t return to my seat; it felt too small, confining and I was more interested in busting out rather than staying put.  I was restless for something more and the train was no longer cutting it, despite the days that I had now spent upon it, traveling the country; I knew I needed to get off.  The restlessness had become too great.  It reminded me of the words of Saint Augustine, that “our hearts are restless until they rest in God.”  How true that is!  In those moments in life and during the day when I am feeling restless or anxious about what needs to be done, where I need to be, the next meeting, etc, my heart becomes more and more restless as the day goes on, longing for that Presence, leading us often to sit with that restlessness and listen to what it is trying to say and where it is trying to lead; somewhere in the midst of it is where God wants to meet us in our lives.  The challenge is, not running from it or trying to satisfy it in material ways, but rather, sit with it and wait.  I knew on that train that I could not just jump off at the moment, that I would need to wait until it came to a stop, but until I got to the point of “jumping off”, I sat with it, allowed myself to feel it, without taking it out on others, and acknowledge the emptiness and longing within my own heart and soul.  It was painful, which is why we do everything in our power to avoid it; but until we enter into that place within our souls, we will never learn what it is that we are truly searching for in life, the gift of love that can only be orchestrated by God, and then we know where to truly return to satisfy the restlessness and bring us to a resting place in God.



One thought on “A Painful Space

  1. I certainly looked forward to your message each day during your trip and thank you so much for giving us such nourishing food for our souls. This one particularly speaks volumes to me as I can relate to your feelings quite well just in my daily activities sometimes. It is a terrible feeling, but it is encouraging to read your words and know there is “Comfort” for those who seek the Presence within during these times. Welcome back!

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