If you were to ask people to list the things they feared, you would probably find on that list, “boredom”, especially boredom in the routine activities of life. This is a common dread for anyone who desires to fill their existence with excitement and vibrancy. There are many differing opinions about boredom. Here are a few.
• Boredom: The desire for desires. – Leo Tolstoy
• I am convinced that boredom is one of the greatest tortures. If I were to imagine Hell, it would be the place where you were continually bored. – Erich Fromm, The Dogma of Christ
• When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored. – Eric Hoffer
• Perhaps the world’s second worst crime is boredom. The first is being a bore. – Jean Baudrillard
I believe Christians who instinctively practice the presence of the Lord, will have little or no room for boredom in their life. Boredom by its very definition is impossible for the believer who is intentionally and continually connecting with God—sharing their time and experiences with the Creator of heaven and earth (Is. 40:28).
The shepherd boy David found great tranquility and contentment as he tended his sheep. Read the 23rd Psalm. Bored? I don’t think so. David practiced the presence of God under the canopy of His Creation—the moon, the stars, and the heavens. It was during the performance of his boring responsibilities that David experienced both God’s goodness and greatness. He practiced the presence of God in the routine.
This weekend I had an opportunity to share in David’s experience in practicing God’s presence in the routine as I approached the task of preparing Sunday dinner. I rose early in the morning, 5:00 a.m. to be exact, to begin the monotonous task of “cleaning collard greens”—separating the bunched collard leaves from their stem and then washing the leaves thoroughly.
This morning, however, God had a special gift for me. As the morning light came through my kitchen window, God joined me as I performed my mundane task. We spent a glorious hour reflecting on His Word, which I had read earlier during my morning devotions. He lovingly disciplined me for unconfessed sin and in general, listened to my concerns for the day. God assured me that, regardless of the task I faced that day, boring or not, He would continue to be with me. Wow! I felt like Father Lawrence (Read his story below). I practiced the presence of God in the routine.
God is so awesome. He always has us on His mind and we are never out of His view (Ps. 139:7). It is our choice to expect and pursue His presence throughout our day—in the commonplace and in the complex. He is always available (Ps. 121). Want to eliminate boredom from your life? Invite God into your presence and never be “bored again.”