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Not Just for Retirees on a Monday

July 23, 2018

“Retirees are 40% more likely than workers to suffer from clinical depression, and the reason boils down to feeling isolated [and] restless,” writes Maurie Backman on The Motely Fool site.

And yes, this is our third Monday in a row to consider that. It’s a pretty big deal. Here’s the source of this brief article —

The best description of restlessness I’ve encountered is “energy that’s pumping through the body, itching to burst out.” [Shamash Alidina]

I know that thing called restlessness all too well. Maybe you do, too.

Let me suggest some diagnostics:

First, physical. As a counselor/therapist taught me, three questions that cut through stuff like scalpels: How are we eating, sleeping, and exercising? That is, nutritious food or junk food…what and how much are we drinking…too little or not enough sleep…and following a realistic and challenging work out plan or just thinking about it?

Second, emotional. What’s going on within us? What is there that we’ve been avoiding? What have we been doing instead? How’s the weather in our hearts, and what’s our forecast?

Third, social. Are we interacting appropriately with others? Are we trying to get out of our own lane? Have we been trying to fix something that we can’t fix? Have we been trying to fix something that’s not even ours to fix?

Fourth, spiritual. St. Augustine famously wrote that “our hearts are restless till they find rest in You, O God.” (Augustine, Confessions (Book 1). Have we been trying to fill up that empty space in our hearts with what simply will never fit? Do we need to de-clutter our hearts? Maybe a mild version of Matthew 8:28-34 is called for; but please note that a consideration of that perplexing scene is beyond the scope of my blog today.

We’re not the first ones to experience restlessness. Part of God’s curse on Cain for murdering his brother Abel was this: You will be a restless wanderer on the earth. (Genesis 4:12).

Okay, that’s not good news. But it might explain some things.

So what else do our Bibles say about restlessness?!

As I hope you know, I love the honesty of The Bible. For example, Psalm 42:11 could be a lyric from some recent song asking, Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? (Psalm 42:11)

And then there’s this, which some of us have quoted or at least referenced when waiting for that day’s first cup of coffee: I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. (Psalm 6:6)

We’ll pick up here tomorrow. Meanwhile, go back over these four areas and my starter questions.

Don’t be too quick with your answers.

Maybe some time with a qualified third party would be helpful…maybe making an appointment with one today would be the best possible use of your time and energy.

And I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

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