In our loneliness, we rush to social media of one sort or another and if things work out we might be satisfied for a while. In our boredom we turn to our tunes and drift off into the world of our favorite music (sitting all alone with headphones or car speakers blaring). In our sadness we are distracted by laughter, jokes, and other diversionary joy (joy that is not our own but which we borrow from whatever source we can find it).
Our longing is not for technology or recognition from peers or a smile but for meaning and purpose. Though we delight in pursuing the answer to our longing in a variety of ways more or less meaningful to us, the longing itself is only temporarily stilled.
We need not humor or interesting distraction but God. Jesus has come to restore our place and purpose. He has come to bring us back to Eden's command and promise to be fruitful and fill all things and to exercise dominion over all things on behalf of our Creator God. We are not led away from this purpose and identity but to it and given it again after losing it by choice. We need a God who can love us in our sins but not leave us there. We need a God strong enough to suffer for our sins and die in our place. We need a God who can direct us as people to a goal and purpose strong enough to rediscover our identity as gift of God.
Augustine knew the want, the emptiness, and painful routine of trying to fill it up with things ill equipped to meet our need. . . and then He knew God in Christ. There he found the illusive rest. . . and there we will find it too. Come to me, He says, who came for us. Lord, help me to do just that. . .