Is being restless a signal?

Restless signalI keep thinking about how we hear our callings, the “signals” we get that move us in one direction or another. We talked about pain on Friday and that can be a very strong signal. But what about more subtle things? Is being restless a signal? Because I feel restless a lot . . . in fact, I was having troubles falling asleep thinking about what “restless” really means and how to be without rest actually sounds just as bad as being in pain so maybe it’s no less subtle a signal.

Webster defines being restless as:

  • feeling nervous or bored and tending to move around a lot : not relaxed or calm
  •  unhappy about a situation and wanting change
  •  having little or no rest or sleep

I can relate to all of those! In my own experience, feeling restless often precedes a call that I can’t quite hear yet. A general discontent settles over me, a scattering of ideas, my mind runs on and on and on and on at night. I’ve written before about how I often try to force the call – pick something, hurry up! But I’m slowly learning that the restless signal is a wake-up call for me to submit to listening rather than madly plotting my next steps.

If you feel restless with your daily life, it’s another good time to check in with yourself. Is it plain boredom, is a situation bothering you, do you want change just for change’s sake? It’s a good time to journal through any racing thoughts, to pray on paper, to sit in silence. It’s a good time to go out for coffee with a friend who can reflect on your motivations with you.

I think being restless with the way things are is a pretty normal human feeling. Sometimes it’s plain old envy or greed or lust for the things we think will make our lives better. Other times there’s a holy discontent where we know we’re not living in hope and trust, when we want more for our lives because we realize we’re just sitting around.

Pay attention to your own feelings of being restless this week. Where do you think these feelings are coming from and what are they trying to tell you?