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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

Something Is Missing

Do you ever have the sense that something is missing in your life? We all do from time to time. Most people push it aside fairly quickly, because we are afraid of where it might lead. But we really should pay a little more attention to our dissatisfaction.

Push it aside, ignore it, pretend it isn’t there, but it won’t go away. And the more you ignore it the more restless you will become. We have all watched a friend who needs to make a decision but refuses to confront the situation. He pretends that all is well, but everyone around him can see he is becoming more and more restless.

Perhaps a student has an important exam coming up, but he doesn’t take the time to study. As the exam gets closer his anxiety increases because he knows he isn’t prepared, yet at the same time, he refuses to study. Resistance has a firm grip on him. All the energy he should be using to study is being used on anxiety. Until he decides to sit down and study, the anxiety will continue to grow. It’s okay to be dissatisfied. Being dissatisfied and pretending that we are not is the kind of lie that leads to spiritual and physical illness. Our dissatisfaction is trying to lead us to something better, or something different altogether.

It is time to start listening to what God is saying to us through our dissatisfaction. I want to encourage you to pay a little more attention to that sense that something is missing in your life. This quiet discontent is creating restlessness in you for a reason.

Restlessness is something I am very familiar with. Most days experience it in some form or another. It drives my creativity and gives birth to ideas. But each day the restlessness needs to be tamed so that I can actually do something. Otherwise I would just sit around coming up with ideas all the time. Nothing would get done, and I certainly wouldn’t ever finish anything.

But beyond these daily experiences with restlessness, there have been a handful of extraordinary encounters with it that have left their mark on my life. When I was fifteen years old I had a growing sense that something was missing. I was doing well in school, I excelled at sports, I had a wonderful girlfriend, and I had started a couple of businesses. I grew up in a very entrepreneurial family. Sitting at the dinner table each night was basically like attending classes for an MBA.

So by the time I was a sophomore in high school I was making more money than my teachers, and I remember thinking, “There must be more to life than getting good grades, having a job, and making money.” My heart was restless. I knew something was missing, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I had this nagging sense that there simply must be more to life, but I didn’t know what it was or where to find it. So, I did what most of us do. I tried to ignore the feelings, but the nagging restlessness persisted.

If you sense that something is missing in your life, stop ignoring it. Start paying attention to it. God is trying to tell you something. Matthew Kelly

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