I have bumped into a few bored people this week. If you have children who are on summer break you too may be bumping into a few bored people too. This has caused me to ponder boredom. When I is was a bored as a child and someone said "why don't you...." it could make me angry. Even though I might even enjoy what they suggested. It was as if I loved and hated my boredom at the same time. When in this state it's easy to answer all the suggestions with "nah".
What is that? Have you noticed that too? There is something wonderful and sinister in boredom. Sinister because it is often filled with lies, like "there is nothing to do". Just not true. Ask any parent of of child who says that and they will come of with at 10 things they could do. Lies like life isn't good or exciting enough. Lies like it is up to someone else to entertain us. That life is all about the circumstances.
Boredom is wonderful too. I think Jesus would have added it to the list in the Beatitudes if he had thought of it. Blessed are the Bored for they will see life with God in a new way. Boredom's gift is we get to show up to life when it isn't all razzle dazzle. We get to live for what we believe in at our core instead of what is going on around us. Boredom is needed to help wake us up to that fact. When life is busy, full, terrifying, exciting etc it is easy to put the core of our faith, what we really believe life is about, on the back burner. We are too busy living life to notice. When we are bored we get to practice, "God, thank you for the gift of this boring day." To show up to the boring with God and listen. To ask questions of life with God. Is your job boring? Why? What do you sense is God's movement around your boring job? What are your priorities? Is the boring calling you to move on to some place where your gifts are used more? Or is it just a season, like summer break, and a chance to practice gratitude? An opportunity to listen to God and not the lies. So maybe the next time "I'm bored" comes to mind we can smile.
Exercise: The next time you are bored spend some time in conversation with God about it. Practice gratitude - if you notice resistance what is it about? Why don't you want to be grateful? Spend time in prayer around that.