St. Augustine of Hippo in his book Confessions says “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
We have been made to be in relationship with the God who made us and we are restless searching for meaning and purpose. Searching for a way to feel fulfilled, to know and be known, to accept and be accepted. This is a driving force of all people. It is the desire to have abundant life.
Many of us, however, get a distorted view of what abundant life looks like so we keep looking in the wrong places.
We think having an abundant life is having an abundance of stuff. Like a bigger house, faster car and the newest gadget that will make our life easier and more fulfilled.
We think an abundant life is found through a bigger paycheque, through a higher social status, by being more popular, more beautiful, more “successful”.
We buy and covet stuff because we think it will make us happy. We think an abundant life is a life of happiness. We have been listening to the wrong voices, the voices of the thieves and bandits, the voices of those who do not really care for us but climb over the wall and come to steal and kill and destroy. They are the ones who want us to buy their stuff or engage in their services so that they can profit from us and feather their own nests.
The abundant life that Jesus offers us does not mean a life of happiness, a life devoid of suffering or hardship. We will still have times of walking through dark valleys but the abundant life means that we know we do not walk alone. An abundant life is a life lived knowing the good shepherd walks with us and his rod and staff comfort us.
In this time of physical distancing perhaps we are more aware than ever how important relationships are. Perhaps it is in this time we can see what really matters? What an abundant life really is. Perhaps an abundant life is being loved and having others to love.
Let’s find our purpose and meaning in our relationship with God and find in God we have abundant life. Amen.
Rev Tammy Hollands