During the last month or two of working on the novel, when I was writing nearly every night until some time between one and three in the morning, I began to build up in my mind what things would be like when I was done. I was going to spend more time doing activities with the kids in the evening. I was going to read more books. I was going to blog more often. I was going to put more time into studying for our German classes.
It's been a few weeks now, and while maybe I've done a little bit of each of these, life has not changed nearly as much as I imagined it would.
Last night we were at the opening night of our parish Lenten mission, given by a Dominican from the parish downtown. One of the things he spoke about was the need of the soul for God, how we are made for perfection. It's because we're made for perfection that we have the endless need for the good, for the next thing, for one more, for improvement, for whatever it is that seems will make our lives a bit more perfect.
And of course, this is good. We should be working to live our lives better, to do more of what is good and less of what is useless or bad.
But that drive for perfection which gives us our appetite for improvement is unquenchable. It can never be satisfied -- not in this life at any rate.
That's fine. We're not meant for perfection and the perfect happiness that comes with it in this life. This is the life of striving, and although we may overcome various problems in our lives, there will always be other things to improve. Part of the key is to know this, and to realize that just because we're now doing something right (or not doing something wrong) we won't suddenly achieve complete bliss. Yet the hunger is always there, and so although I know that making one change in my life won't make everything satisfying and good, I do always seem to think that the improvement will be greater than it turns out to be.
My heart is restless, Lord, until it rests in Thee.