I went to see the film Eat Pray Love last night starring Julia Roberts. Based on the bestselling book it tells the story of Liz, a middle aged writer, who reaches a crossroads in her life, realizing that she does not like the life that she is living. Realizing she is unhappy in her marriage, she divorces her husband, and embarks on a year long journey of travel and new experiences in an attempt to feel alive again. Beginning in Italy, she lives, eats, learns Italian, and finds snippets of happiness, but still she is incomplete. Liz travels to India to learn meditation from the great Guru, and is frustrated cause she cannot still her soul. Ending her year in Bali, she faces her fears of opening her heart again to love.
Liz's experience is like so many people. We want to be happy. We want to experience life to the fullest. We want to feel complete. We want to be loved. And, we want to find rest. So often, we think that when our lives are not how we expect or what we want, we must change something outside of ourselves. We need to get away. So we plan a trip, change jobs, move, break-up with a significant other, and for awhile, we are ok again. But, that feeling of not enough, of something missing, returns. Because the problem is not outside of us, it's in us. There is a saying that goes, "Where ever you go, there you are." You can never leave yourself.
I'd like to suggest that we look in all the wrong places for the peace and stillness and completeness that we all desire. It won't be found in success, wealth, beauty, thinness. In the book, Desire of Ages, it says, "Living faith in the Redeemer will smooth the sea of life, and will deliver us from danger in the way that He knows best (White, 336). Jesus tells us "Be still and know that I am God." Ps. 46:10. Here alone, can true rest be found.