Creative Unrest

“Christianity is the most intensely strong, the greatest possible source of unrest, it wants – yes, such was the effect of the Life of Christ – it wants the human being to be disturbed at the deepest foundations, to burst everything, to break everything…Where someone has become a Christian, there you will find unrest.” – Soren Kierkegaard

A good friend of mine sent me this quote and it opened a doorway for me.  I suddenly had clear thoughts for an essential part of what it means to experience Christ in your life and in the world.

Rather than writing that here, however, we wanted to hear from you.  How do you respond, react, resonate to his words?  Do they ring true? What do you think he means by this ‘unrest’?

You can share your thoughts in the comment section below!


17 thoughts on “Creative Unrest

  1. Hey Dave,

    The quote in this email reminds me of the conversation we had over lunch (before the imitation part lol)

    Thanks! Melissa


  2. Unrest: Indeed, it would be hard to find a deeper image of unrest than the empty tomb and discarded embalming cloths – as the bearer of Christ, Jesus could not even find rest in Death, and throughout his life, his experience was homelessness, of there being ‘nowhere to lay his head’. Deep, deep inner unrest.
    This quotation rings true especially insofar as it evokes the image of those whom we call [psychologically] disturbed: those who are ‘mentally ill’, or ‘crazy’. Are they not continually enacting battles with demons, and are those ‘battles’ not an experience of Christ to the extent to which they are repeatedly having to (re)negotiate their sense of self by consciously calling upon and thereby distinguishing their ‘highest self’?
    But on a more mundane level, what comes to me through this quotation is perhaps less dramatic than what Kierkegaard intended; it’s the theme of questing, and of questioning. When we participate in the act of questing or questioning – both of which are by nature restless activities – we are engaging in opening doors, dissolving or breaking down boundaries, widening cracks, — or simply searching, roving. It’s an exciting but often difficult process to be in for any lengthy amount of time, being the antithesis to satisfaction that it is… Anyway my thought is that this activity of questing and questioning is inherent to the experience of Christ; it is either the necessary attitude for the experience of Christ, or can be the experience itself…?

  3. For me the ‘unrest’ came before I had a true understanding of who Christ is and now, I just trust in the “ever present help of the spiritual world” …

  4. thank you for writing this blog. and thank you for sharing the quote from Soren Kierkegaard. it reminds us of another quote: “those who give light must endure burning”. (Viktor Frankl)…and we affirm the truthfulness of these lines in our lives.

  5. By default, a genuine spiritual journey is challenging and ultimately leads to a feeling of unrest. Old values and modes of existing in the world no longer ring true. As we shed them, we enter uncharted, unfamiliar territory. It is a lonely journey, because how can we share our experiences if they are not of the material world, but rather of a spiritual world for which our language is not sufficient?

    • Thank you for these wise and honest thoughts, andelieya. The element of loneliness had not been brought out yet and touches on a deep aspect of the experience of unrest along the journey to the spirit. The unrest of struggling to mold our earth-bound tongue to our experiences of the spiritual world is the kind of creative wrestling that comes to mind for me, too, when living with this idea of unrest…

  6. For myself, the quotation illustrates the principle that lies behind my non-acceptance of the way some people want Christians to always be so careful not to rock the boat, or stir the pot so to speak of the societal norms around them. Once the Spirit is guiding one’s life, then just as Christ would never stand by in the face of a widow or orphan being mistreated, or suffering from poverty or hunger, than neither can the believer who is being conformed by the Spirit into Christ’s image stand by without also taking some form of appropriate action. I’m not proposing violent methods, but there were, and are, good solid Christian ways of supporting our fellow man in times of need, and I see the term “unrest” as descriptive of my spirit at times such as those.

  7. Now that I find me sitting here in peace there’s a voice inside me that would prefere this peaceful sitting forever and ever and ever… This is evening mood and a calm light.
    In the morning I will rise and being a flame searching for truth in words and deeds forever and ever and ever…and feeling hurt by this restless search.
    O Christ. O passion.

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