Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
By Chris WittsWednesday 2 Mar 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 3 minutes
“God has made us for Himself and our hearts are restless until we rest in Him.” That was the famous statement from Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, in AD 397 in his book Confessions. It was a prayer written a long time ago.
I have spoken about this a number of times – and what that famous prayer means is that we are made for God, but not only with Him. It’s about doing God’s will. Then we find true peace and inner satisfaction. We keep looking for that rest anywhere and everywhere – it could be in wealth, family, a long life, the simple life, or philosophy. But God has not made us to find rest or fulfilment in these things. We have songs that speak about that search. You might listen sometimes to “The Man of La Mancha” and “The Impossible Dream”. But somehow, we sense there is more.
The impossible dream
At a pop-culture level, you could be listening to Bono and U2 singing their hit song in 1987 “I Still Haven’t Found what I’m Looking for”. The lyrics seem to be about pursuing a girl
I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you.
I have run,
I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls,
Only to be with you.
He tries to make everyone like him. I would like to suggest that the guy in this song was mostly about doing things to make himself happy. Even the chorus/name of the song is self-centred – “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”. It’s a great song, and makes us think of the deeper issues of life.
I think that song more than almost any other, describes our culture today. How many people are searching, running, scaling, looking for something but not finding it – I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. And unfortunately many people think they’re going to find it in the accumulation of things.
The wrong foundation for our identity
But the man in the song goes on to say that he is still searching and empty. What do we say to this? The song even addresses Jesus directly, saying, “I believe in the Kingdom come…You broke the bonds and you loosed the chains, Carried my cross and all my shame…But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
I recently found a quote from C.S. Lewis and I think it might apply to this situation: “Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.” From what I can tell, it seems that the author of this song put all his identity into this girl, and their relationship, but found that neither could fill the empty soul. He was looking for more. He tries to satisfy his longing with physical relationships – and fails. We can dedicate our lives to someone else and to that person’s purpose, but in doing so we run the risk of not finding what it is that we are searching for. Some U2 fans say they love this song; that it has a spiritual dimension, and whilst they still haven’t found what they’re looking for, they are enjoying the journey.
As we grow older, many of us look into ourselves and examine what it is that we want to do with our lives, what impact we can make on the world, and even what our legacy to the world will be after we are gone.
(To be continued in Still Looking – Part 2)