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Confessions of a Restless Father


"My heart is restless Lord, until it rests in thee."

– St. Augustine, Confessions


This quote by St. Augustine is the constant prayer of my heart.


I find it hard to be content.


There is always something more to have, another experience to enjoy, another mountain to hike, another skill to learn, another person to meet, another book to read, another course to teach our children, another way to relax, new wine to taste, and another physical regime to try.


My eyes see it all.


My mind is constantly searching for more knowledge and new possibilities. I'm constantly looking for another way to make another dollar.


And then, as the frenzy climaxes, I pause.

All my desires, all my passions are essentially desires for what is good. Exercise is good. Wine is good. Skills are good. Books are good. But all these goods are transient. They leave me wanting.

I realize that I'm restless. Again. All this yearning in me ... all this desire and passion ... what am I supposed to do with it all?


How does a father channel this? Even when it comes to my children, I find myself restless for their sake. I want them to grow in skill, in wisdom, in strength, in their relationships. Am I pushing enough? Too much? Too often? Too hard?


I must pause.


I'm restless.


So I pray, "My heart is restless Lord, until it rests in thee."


I go to the chapel and kneel before the Blessed Sacrament and lay my restlessness there. Yet, even there I struggle in the silence.


All my desires, all my passions are essentially desires for what is good. Exercise is good. Wine is good. Skills are good. Books are good. But all these goods are transient. They leave me wanting.


Why?


Because all of these good things are just echoes of the True Good. They all point to the Author of Goodness. It is in Him that my desires will be satiated and in Him alone.


In Him my will will be at rest.


I forget this truth so easily … and yet, somehow I have to instil this truth in my children, too.


May all eight of them learn to rest in God.


So I go back to the chapel again.


Breathe.


And pray.



Semper Fidelis,


Kenton E. Biffert


Kenton works at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College as an adjunct professor and the Dean of Students. Together with his wife, they homeschool their 7 children, and they recently welcomed another little one into the family. Together, they like to explore the wilds of Ontario in the canoe and read voraciously. To learn more about the art of fatherhood, visit Kenton's personal blog.

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