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  • Wayne Chasney

A Restless Longing

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. (Psalm 42:1)

What happens when we become disconnected from God? When we are cut off from the divine? When we no longer experience the holy and sacred around us?

Saint Augustine wrote, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”

A restless longing.

I believe that describes a good bit of our world today. People have a restless longing that they just don’t know how to fill. The world around us is a swirling, chaotic mess, demanding more time and energy than we have to give. Within that chaos and life’s never-ending demands we try to maintain relationships with what little time and energy we have left, which is never enough. And worst of all, as we look at others around us, seeing only the reality they present, we wonder why they seem so happy and content when we are not, never realizing most people suffer the same restless longing we do.

So we fake it. We post happy pictures on social media. We smile and tell each other we are fine. We try to ignore the restless longing, or mask it, or fill it with things and experiences. Meanwhile, the weight is almost too much to bear.

Today is World Mental Health Day, as designated by the World Health Organization. It is, “an opportunity for people and communities to unite behind the theme ‘Mental health is a universal human right’ to improve knowledge, raise awareness and drive actions that promote and protect everyone’s mental health as a universal human right.”

It’s okay to say not everything is okay.

It’s okay to care for your mental health just as you would your physical health.

It’s okay to reach out for help if you are one of the many struggling to get by.

Please check out the resources available in our area through the Huron County Board of Mental Health and Addiction Services (Click HERE). Help is available and you are not alone.

And while I know a deeper relationship with God might not solve all of your troubles, I do believe the Psalmist was right. As a deer longs for flowing streams, there is something inside everyone one of us that longs to know the loving, steadfast presence of God.

Filling that restless longing brings us a step closer to wholeness.

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