Overcoming Boredom by Obedience to God by Rev Stephen Brooks

Being bored during the national lockdown has challenged our sense of self, as people have looked for meaning in their day-to-day lives in the absence of the usual routine. Many have felt disconnected and life appears meaningless or uninteresting; this extreme boredom asks us important questions about the ways we see and value our own lives.

We can overcome boredom and meaningless by believing that God has a higher purpose for our lives. In the Bible, King Solomon tried in vain to find happiness through worldly pleasures of life, ie. education, wealth and personal pleasure. He concluded that there is no happiness without God: “Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labour which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:11).

No matter what path we passionately choose to go down, there will be certain points that are extremely boring, yet necessary in order to achieve success.  If you can push through these moments of boredom, you will be able to accomplish those things you are truly passionate about.

Many of us believe that if we are to pursue something, we must have a deep passion for it. This thinking leads us to be extremely motivated at the beginning when everything is exciting, but eventually this excitement wears off. When we lose passion and motivation, we will start to make excuses and eventually give up. So how do we successfully emerge out of boredom?

  1. Remember the journey is not the destination

It is important to remember the reason you are on the journey you are on, and not forget that being bored is part of any journey before arriving at the destination.  If you focus on the destination, it’s more likely you will endure the journey with a positive mental attitude.

2. Complete the boring things first

Mark Twain called “frogs” those unpleasant, horrible things on our to-do lists that we want to delay doing. We have a natural tendency to want to do this “later”, but later never comes. Guess what? We will always find the time to do the things we want to do!

John 9:4 states: “I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” One of the reasons is because our willpower is at its highest in the morning. The earlier in the day that we take on the boring tasks, the easier they will be to complete.  

3. Fall in love with the journey 

Enjoy and embrace the discipline required to reach the destination. This perspective will help you push through those long, hard, boring days. There is, perhaps, no more boring journey than becoming an elite athlete. Imagine the tedium of getting up every single day to train for hours on end. Elite athletes fall in love with the challenge, discipline and routine of getting better day by day, to see if they can improve, become faster, stronger and get one step closer to becoming a champion. 

In your own journey, find ways to fall in love with the process. Begin to track your progress, begin to find the little things you like, and begin to love the process of getting better. 

Here are some interesting comments about boredom:

  • Life is never boring, but some people choose to be bored. Boredom is a choice.
  • The opposite of happiness is not sadness; it’s boredom. 
  • Boredom is God’s way of telling you that you’re wasting time!
  • Work spares us from three evils: boredom, immorality and need.
  • Boredom is for lazy people, who have no godly purpose in their lives.
  • There is nothing more hazardous to health than boredom.

Most importantly, it is vital we seek to overcome boredom by devotion to God. He gives us purpose and direction in life, that we might find great joy in serving Him. When people are willing to be Jesus’ disciples, there is no reason for boredom in their lives! Devotion to God will both further His Kingdom on earth, and will be personally transformational as you rely on His provision. 

If you struggle with knowing God’s will, do what you think He is calling you to do. If it isn’t precisely what He desires, you will be easier to redirect in motion than from a sitting position, as was the case when He called most of His disciples.

God has a daily plan for us to reach our particular destiny that nobody else can fulfil. Trust the Holy Spirit to lead and empower you, and you will succeed in fulfilling the Lord’s mission for your life. I can guarantee it won’t be boring.

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