What shall we do with our discontent–the gnawing feeling that things should be better than they are? Perhaps during Lent, when we make special effort to get in touch with our inner selves, we become aware of our discontent, acknowledging it may lie much of the time a little beneath the surface of our daily busyness. Is it just a part of the human condition? Although some may think of it as an inadequacy in the human spirit, I’ve come to believe it’s a gift from the Creator calling us to make concrete what we pray for when we say, “Thy kingdom come . . . on earth as it is in heaven.” I join C. S. Lewis in calling this discontent “divine discontent.” It nudges us to join God in God’s work in the world, or as the Apostle Paul put it, to be “fellow workers” with God.
I’ll admit it’s an audacious assumption that this could be our calling. And it’s even more audacious if we accept the notion that God’s work is nothing less than redeeming the world! But such, I believe, is the case. I’ve become convinced that this involves all of life and the restoration or reclaiming of all that’s contrary to the final intention of God. By this I mean the redemption of all aspects of life–the moral, the physical, the rational, and the aesthetic. Here’s what that may look like: In the moral sphere, liberation from bondage to sin frees individuals for wholeness and society for justice. In the physical sphere, redemption from suffering to well-being. In the rational, ignorance is to be transformed through knowledge. And in the aesthetic sphere, ugliness is replaced by beauty. All of it is the restorative work of God. And the divine discontent we know calls us to share in God’s audacious redemptive task, day by day.
— Dale Edmondson