To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. — Emily Dickenson
If your household is like my household, things start to go really, really badly when there’s nothing to do. It usually starts with kids wandering aimlessly around the house with a blank stare. Bickering shortly follows. “You’re in my room!” “It’s my turn!” These statements are usually precursors to infighting, insurrection, geothermal and nuclear war, and the end of civilization as we know it.
All these things could be avoided and peace on earth could be restored if we recognized one of the earliest warning signs of such looming global catastrophe. I’m sure you’ve heard this warning before. It sounds like this: “I am sooooooooooo bored!” (and it’s proclaimed as the ultimate injustice as if you were tearing off their toenails with a pair of pliers or something.)
Boredom, yeah, it’s a problem with children in nearly every household—including children in the household of God. (And it can lead to adult behavior in the church that is equally pathetic!) We were designed to live with purpose—purpose in something that matters. Consider Paul’s description of one of the brothers in the early church:
But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. Indeed he was ill, and almost died… he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me. (Philippians 2:25-30)
It’s a little hard to imagine Epaphroditus whining about not getting his turn on the Xbox. Is it possible that God is calling us, as brothers and sisters of Christ, to live so focused on Christ and what He wants to do through us that boredom and its insidious consequences become a thing of our past?
Father, Thank You for forgiving me when I become bored and lose focus on the cause. I repent of the petty bickering and infighting that I fall into. I surrender myself to You, to be enlisted as a “fellow soldier.” Make me so un-bored that I will be willing to risk my life for the cause that You wish to live through me. Amen.
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com