I Have Restless Life Syndrome

My name is Jayson Schmidt and I have Restless Life Syndrome.

Apparently, RLS does exist–––and I didn’t think of it first (trust me, I googled it). In 2013, millions of people around the world have made endless goals and boundless dreams. We’re all dreamers and doers, but some of us take it a bit further and I’ll step to the front of the line.

For me, it’s not enough to just have a career. Coaching lacrosse would be a great career. So would Quarterlife Man, or Quarterlife Woman, or Quarterlife Creative House, or Quarterlife whatever-comes-next. Or my work as a digital strategist. Or my work as a part-time videographer. At my count, that’s somewhere in the neighborhood of five careers. I picture it like spinning plates.

My to-do list apps are meticulously held. My iPhone gives me updated reminders every minute, on the minute, it seems. I segment my life down to the minutia (how often do we plan veg-out time?). The words that escape my lips often speak of dreams in which I get away, but honestly, if I was relegated to St. Maarten with nothing but a sailboat I would be miserable. My life is one constant embrace of the rush.

Why does life need to move so fast?

Do you remember the kid in preschool that always tried to fit the square peg into the round hole? If you suffer from RLS, that’s us. We forever try to fit things into this hole that only Jesus can fill. Jeremiah 2:35 sums it up well:

“Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry?

Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway?
But you say, ‘I can’t help it.
I’m addicted to alien gods. I can’t quit.’

How many of us are addicted to alien gods? Career. Relationship. Friendship. Even family. We all seek to jam them into the round hole no matter how poorly they fit. In the two prior verses, the tale is set:

“How dare you tell me, ‘I’m not stained by sin.
I’ve never chased after the Baal sex gods’!
Well, look at the tracks you’ve left behind in the valley.
How do you account for what is written in the desert dust—

It’s time to start looking at the tracks we’ve left behind. If you’re chasing sex or a promotion or a family member who will never love like Jesus does, you can’t refute the tracks you’ve left in the desert. Sure, there’s security in a 401k or a loving wife, but it’s temporary. Even the best 401k loses value and the most joyful wife is bound to get angry. Jesus is the only one whose security is boundless.

What’s the prescription for RLS?

“The rush” only turns fatal when we fail to put our reliance on God. When we put reliance on ourselves, rebellion and a harsh correction are sure to follow. We can be movers and shakers, provided we have the right mindset. To examine a cure, we have to example RLS in its’ purest form, the name. Here’s a definition of restless:

rest·less [rest-lis] – adj.
1. characterized by or showing inability to remain at rest: a restless mood.
2. unquiet or uneasy, as a person, the mind, or the heart.
3. never at rest; perpetually agitated or in motion: the restless sea.
4. without rest; without restful sleep: a restless night.
5. unceasingly active; averse to quiet or inaction, as persons: a restless crowd.

Unquiet? Uneasy? As a person, mind, or heart. Wow. Definition number two hit me like a purse full of bricks. To cure Restless Life Syndrome, we need to quiet the unquiet and ease the uneasiness, which is done by checking our pace and focus.

As a rule, the faster we move, the more God “gets in the way.” Likewise, if we’re moving too fast for God, we’re moving too fast for ourselves. Most times, we admit that we’ve ‘got it all together’, but realistically speaking, who among us is spending an hour in the Word every morning with a jam-packed day ahead? It’s tougher than it seems.

The key here is to slowwwww downnnnn.

Table your two of your least important meetings for next week. Tell your girlfriend/fiance/wife that you’re having a date-with-God night. Get in your prayer closet and just be. No agenda. No to-dos. Just you. And God. And nothing but time.

It’s a fact: restless lives are the antithesis of our ability to pray/read/seek. This doesn’t mean that everyone needs to stop everything and pray unceasingly (though that would be great), because you can be doing life at the slowest possible speed and still not living for Jesus. At the end of the day, our ability to maintain our pace on the outside is in direct correlation to how we maintain our focus on the inside.

If we’re focused on the inside, our ability to grab rest and stay eager-but-content wins the day.

Sound Off: Do you have Restless Life Syndrome? Do you think Jesus can be in the forefront while maintaining a restless life? Let us know in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *