Holy Restlessness

Holy Restlessness

Warren E. Berkley

The ancient religious writers often identified a virtue they called “holy restlessness.” It was a concept that often became lost in monasticism but needs to be “restored.”

Certainly, there is a kind of restlessness that is not productive. Becoming occupied with something only long enough to find a level of boredom, then moving to another activity before completing the first, etc. Performance and excellence is not achieved or enjoyed when we never settle down to good tasks and see them through. This common restlessness can become a way of life and rob us of blessings that flow from good work (see Matt. 13:21, “only for a while”.)

There may be another kind of restlessness that holds some value. Not willing to relax deeply and lovingly into comfortable routines; anxious to find good new methods; working our way from complacency to zeal and diligence and excellence – is a type of restlessness that can spur good work for the Lord. This might be called a healthy or holy restlessness that propels us to the next good thing we ought to be doing. Perhaps we should ask God to help us defeat the destructive restlessness and help us find this holy restlessness of good conscience and zeal.

“…not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord,” (Rom. 12:11).

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