“I’m so booorrred!” This is not just an exclamation whinnied by thousands of children during summer break, on the weekends, or any other time they don’t have anything exciting to do. This is a word adults use and feel all too often as well. I have my days of being bored, of counting down the hours before Joe gets home hoping that he will bring with him extra excitement and enthusiasm for life that will rub off on me.
As I started thinking about the issues of boredom I realized that it is a part of the curse, a part of a broken people brought on by Adam.
Here are a some reason why I experience boredom. They may be your reasons as well.
I might as well start out with the most obvious reason for my boredom. Laziness. Laying around not wanting to do the things that are on my list pretty much always leads to me being bored and feeling blah. The hours tick by slower than molasses in January, I get frustrated and my mood sours. Nothing good comes out of being lazy.
2. Taking grace for granted
My kids are spoiled at Christmas. Relatives from all over the world shower them with gifts causing them to say things like, “this is the best present ever” or “I will never ever put this doll down” only to find this same doll flung in a corner a week or so later with matted hair.
Instead of being thankful for the clothes I have, no matter how old, I stand in front of my closet complaining that I have nothing to wear because I am bored with what I see. Why? Because I take it for granted.
James is pretty clear about the fact that every good thing in our lives is a gift from God. My T-shirts, my 15 year old couch, dishes, shoes, toys and every other thing that I possess are blessings and graces because I not deserve them. I deserve nothing but hell, but Jesus gave me life. That is enough! If I really understood this I would not be bored. I would see all blessings and graces he has added to this redeemed life. I would cherish all the things I have, the people in my life and the circumstances I am in.
3. Wasting our Rest
Unless you are some over the top work a holic you like to rest. I know I like it. I love having days where not much is going on, where I can nap or lounge around. Where there is nothing pressing on the calendar and life, at least for a day, has slowed down.
Boredom can easily sneak into this kind of day if I don’t know how to handle rest properly. These times of quietude are great gifts to be used to exercise the mind and examine the heart. Don’t we all wish we had more time to just think? Well times of rest give us these opportunities. To think about the greatness of God, the blessings in our lives, and the works of Jesus. We are called to examine our hearts regularly to see if and how our character is growing and what bits of nastiness needs to be weeded out.
Rest is another gift from God but is was not given to me to become lazy and lethargic with an empty brain and drool rolling down the side of my mouth. It was given to me to so my spirit and my body can be refreshed and to have time to use my mind in order to think about God and examine my heart.
4. Spiritual dichotomy
I don’t know about you, but I am often guilty of creating a dichotomy between the spiritual and the secular. I view going to church or community group as “spiritual” and dishes or vacuuming as secular. I view reading my Bible or listening to sermons as important and moping yogurt off the walls as a necessary evil. And so, when I am doing what I think of as “spiritual”, I feel like my time is being used well, while my “secular” tasks seem superficial and boring.
The problem lies in my thinking. Since God creates my days and everything in it I should view all things that I do as spiritual. They are all assignments from God, from sharing the gospel to unclogging the toilet. All of it is work created by God for me to do this day.
Martin Luther said,” the works of monks and priests, however holy and arduous they may be, do not differ one whit in the sight of God from the works of the rustic laborer in the field or the woman going about her household tasks…all works are measured before God by faith alone. “
Living in light of this truth would put to death boredom. I would work hard at all my tasks, I would feel privileged to do even the most common of things because I know that a great King has given it to me to do.
In heaven there will be no moments of boredom and I cannot wait!