Whenever I read Augustine, I wonder why I read anything else. I do not mean Augustine is the only author worth reading, but rather that the depth and profundity of his ideas seems to nearly eclipse the normative (and comparative) trash I regularly find in the news or on the Internet. People are so eager to write about something new – to get you to click on their article or watch their video. In the last 24 hours I have seen so many comments on the iPhone 6 Plus possibly bending that I am tempted to believe that actually matters. Unbelievable, except for the fact that, at least for a time, I believed it today.

When I read Augustine I am reminded of the weighty matters of life – wisdom, truth, justice, integrity, love, happiness, and community. These things matters, and they are issues one is more likely to misunderstand just to the degree that one is likely to claim to understand them.

I do not claim to understand them. Yet I live many days as if my understanding is sufficient. This should be sufficient evidence that it is not.

I long for a simpler life, a life not berated by technology, a life characterized by patience, contentment, wonder, curiosity, creativity, friendship, vulnerability, and deep community.

Where am I likely to find this life? Not in the places I usually look (online). It’s so hard to break free from the monotonous rhythm of triviality our society venerates and mass-produces.

Maybe I am being too hard on myself.

I struggle deeply with anxiety, and am frustrated that our culture does not foster a healthy pace or clear vision of meaning. When I read Augustine (or many other philosophers for that matter), something in my soul resonates with the depth and seriousness with which he approaches life. Where can I find that today?

I am strong.
I lie.
I need no one.
I cry.
I own my destiny.
But why?
I am self-sufficient.
But will die.

Who can tell me what to be?
I am free.
Who can tell me what to do?
I am true.

Such is the man who to no god is bowed.
His own god he is, alone, and proud.

Have you ever dreamed of being free?
From all the things you do not want to be.
Have you ever locked yourself inside?
To find that in yourself you cannot hide.
I have felt the same.
Have you ever loved and lost the fight?
For the one for whom you’d give your life.
Have you ever been afraid to die?
Feeling like you’ve wasted all your time.
I have felt the same.
Have you ever felt alone amongst a crowd?
While your loneliness screams out loud.
Have you ever felt a crushing guilt?
And wondered if you’d ever feel rebuilt.
I have felt the same.
Have you ever felt anxiety and shame?
And do not even know from where it came.
Have you ever felt like the only one?
Who struggles and perpetually feels undone.
I have felt the same.

If you feel broken, and do not know what to do,
Rest assured, I have felt the same as you.