I had to sign a document this week on behalf of our church, and when I did so as “pastor,” they returned it and said that wasn’t enough. I had to sign as a “board member,” or it wouldn’t be valid. I told the guy I could probably round up plenty of “bored” members, and he laughed–but of course, we all know there are none of those at Shelby Crossings!
It reminded me of an article I read a few years ago on the subject of boredom. It wasn’t a terribly exciting article, as you might have guessed, but it did have some interesting facts on the topic, as well as some theories from some boring experts. Oh wait, those were boredom experts.
It seems that several authors have written books in the past few years about the dangers of boredom in our contemporary society. They claim that boredom fuels everything from extramarital affairs and drug addiction to coronaries and car accidents.
Curiously, boredom seems to be a modern ailment. The word didn’t exist in the English language until after 1750, notes Patricia M. Spacks, author of Boredom: The Literary History of a State of Mind.“If people felt bored before the 18th century, they didn’t know it,” she says. But, once the concept had a name, it became universal. Philosophers ruminated over it. Teenagers whined about it. And psychologists churned out lots of research.
One of the great ironies of modern life is that “in an age when we have more entertainment available to us than ever before, there seems to be an epidemic of boredom,” writes psychiatrist Richard Winter in his book,Still Bored in the Culture of Entertainment.Winter and other commentators believe society is so saturated with movies, TV, video games and high-tech gadgets that people are losing their sense of wonder.
I don’t know about you, but I just can’t imagine Jesus ever whining about being bored. And neither should we who follow Him ever be bored, as long as there are people to love and serve and reach out to in the world around us. For the Christian, we should neverbe blamed for being bored, or for that matter, boring.
Jesus said he came to give us life, and life more abundantly (John 10:10). Though many people have the impression that a life of faith is mundane and excitement-free, I would beg to differ. Jesus’ call to committed discipleship is an invitation to a life of daily challenges and change, to incredible opportunities and possibilities, and to connect with the supernatural God of the universe. And that is anything but boring!
My prayer for you is that as a child of God, you’ll never get bored with your relationship with him, and that his abundance will flow in and through your life. I look forward to seeing you Sunday.