Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Thing About Boredom

Man... You do a little reading around Blogdom and you'd think it was a horrible, embarrassing crime to ever be bored.

Lately I've seen these over-used, old phrases in various blogs--they are almost worn proudly, like badges:

"I am never bored!"
"Only boring people ever get bored!"

Oh, for Pete's sake... Who says?

I mean, I consider myself a medium-to-highly creative person and yet during various stages and phases of my life--dare I say it?-- I have found myself sitting on a couch bored out of my skull.

There, I said it.

Can we pul-ease grow up? Can we for just one week stop flinging around wild, generalized blanket statements designed to make others feel defective? Can we ever look at old things with new eyes?

Just asking....

I mean, there have been times I've felt sick and weak and have been bored.

At times in my life, I've felt overwhelmed/sad/depressed and unable to move in a creative direction--and have felt bored.

Other times, I've felt God leading me in a whole new direction, yet while not knowing the new direction, I've stuck with what I knew--the safe (often creative)way-- and have been bored.

Which brings me to this: Maybe this is just for me, but I believe God uses boredom as a wake-up call. Boredom can become a place. I'm not saying it's a terrific place to live, but sometimes God uses it as a listening place. A hearing place. An instructional, something-is-going-to-change-soon place. And often in that place, God calls me back closer to Him... He pulls me in from the ditch where I have strayed--just by a degree or so--but strayed, nonetheless. Other times, boredom just becomes a sign, a message in a bottle on the sea of Life, that it's time to move on... to something so new, so big, that it's going to require leaning my whole self upon God's arm.

That's the way He prefers for me to live. And if I was never bored and always on the Doing-Doing-Doing Track, I just may very well miss this new custom-designed adventure from God's blueprints. And when the Boredom Sign comes along the track, I now know to stop. And listen. And prepare.

Let's face it... The winners in Life are not those who reach the end having raced through their years always busy, always puttering and always creating, totally unmindful of God's nudge to move in a different direction. I hardly think God will say, "Well done thou good and always-busy-with-your-own-busywork servant."

No, I think the 'well dones' will go to those who followed Him so closely that they could hear His heart beat--when it slowed, when it sped up... and His whispers when He said, "If you're willing to walk on water, I'll take you to something new, something so impossible that you'll actually drown if you don't hang onto my sleeve."

But before something new comes along, we usually must let go of the old... and that does not happen overnight... our acceptance doesn't even happen overnight. And what lies between the old adventure and the new one is often mistaken for boredom. But actually, it's a wake-up call, a couple acres of holy discontent, a stepping-off place...and so much more.

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