The benefits of boredom
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I’m bored.  I’m bored with blogging.  I’m bored with everything else as well.  Summers are supposed to be laid back, casual and full of fun.  I used to have a coffee mug that said, “The three things I like best about teaching.”  The other side of the mug said, “June, July and August.”  I’m sitting at my office on a beautiful August day.  I like our ministry and know it is important to God’s plan.  I have a lot of worthwhile things I, with God, need to be doing.  Truthfully, right now, I’d rather be at the beach.  The Dallas Cowboys broke training camp and went to the coast.  Jason Garrett understands August.

These are the dog days of summer.  I grew up in Southern California and spent as much time as I could at Zuma beach, lifeguard station 1.  There were always people I knew there.  We would walk the beach, play volleyball, listen to music, swim and ride the waves.  I had a part-time job at Taco Bell, but that left me plenty of time for the sand and surf.  It’s August and I’m supposed to be at the beach.  As I look out of my office window I realize I’m not anywhere close to the ocean waves.

Did people get bored in the Bible?  I’m sure they did… they were human beings.  I imagine David, as a junior-high shepherd.  He was probably bored out of his mind!  Sheep are not good company.  David didn’t have a cell phone, an iPad or laptop computer.  On the other hand, he did have a really cool slingshot.  He found a way to beat his boredom and it really paid off when Goliath showed up.

Joseph got thrown in jail, wrongly accused of chasing Potiphar’s wife.  He had to have been incredibly bored.  He got to know some of the other inmates, and they got to know him.  He interpreted their dreams and then one day, stood in front of the Pharaoh to interpret his.  Soon after, he was hired for Pharaoh’s V.P. and was running the country.  Those boring days in jail were worthwhile.

Zacchaeus was a tax collector.  I’m sure he got bored sitting in his tax collector’s booth watching his Jewish brothers shoot mean glances at him.  It was probably hot, cold and rainy some days, making his job even more uncomfortable.  He probably heard the same arguments over and over again about why the tax was unfair and why he should be ashamed of himself for holding that job.  He was probably glad to escape his boredom when he heard all the commotion and climbed that tree.  Jesus came up to him that day and he was “born again.”  Boredom has its benefits!

The Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, for 40 years.  Numbers 11 tells us that the people began to wail and complain that they were sick and tired of eating manna.  They reminded Moses that in Egypt they had all the fish they wanted, not to mention cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.  They were bored to death with collecting and eating manna all day long.  Moses was probably bored with listening to their complaints.  He went to the Lord and said, “Why do you make me listen to these people day in and day out?  Did I conceive them?  Did I give birth to them?  Why do you make me carry them around like a bunch of infants?  (By the way, that is the Janet Denison International Version of Numbers 11.)  So God, who was probably bored with listening to EVERYONE’s complaints, gave them quail.  Boredom brought those Israelites a second course at the dinner table.  (But pretty soon they got bored again and wanted dessert!)

So, if boredom has its benefits what should you and I look forward to?  David gave his son, Solomon this advice:  “You, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with whole-hearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9).  I’m thinking I might be in some trouble with this blog post!!  My motivation was boredom.  But God can bring benefits from boredom.  So….

What should we do with the dog days of summer?  Realize:

  • that everyone is bored sometimes.   
  • that there is a lot we can be abundantly grateful for.  
  • that God has often blessed boredom, often giving those times great benefits. 

I, for example, wrote a whole blog post on the subject!  Now, I think I’ll try to sneak home, have a glass of iced tea and praise God for understanding readers.  Hang in there… September is right around the corner.

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