I got the title of this blog from a quote I heard on WJR radio several months ago. I can’t remember the person who said it; but, after thinking about it, I felt comfortable adopting it as my own motto. Poet and essayist Criss Jami once said: “The writer’s curse is that even in solitude, no matter its duration, he never grows lonely or bored.” Actually, I consider it the writer’s blessing.
Anyway, as I was out riding my bike this beautiful sunny Monday morning – something I do nearly every weekday, except when precluded by spring showers or winter ice and snow – God began speaking to me about the vast contrasts in life that keep it from ever becoming boring. One moment we’re feasting on the wonders of nature, the next we’re fighting a cultural battle, in writing or before a local governing body. Every day, even every moment is unique and ordained by God – both for our good pleasure and for our involvement in His plan.
So many people who mourn that they’re bored, seem to believe it’s life’s responsibility, or their family’s and friends’ duty to make their personal world interesting. That’s a sure formula for becoming even more bored. The sooner they learn that it’s their own responsibility to make life exciting, the better off they’ll be.
Even secular comedians’, Hal Sparks and Louis C.K. tongue-in-cheek quotes express this wisdom: “Boredom is your mind and body’s way of telling you you’re not living up to your potential.” (Hal Sparks) “‘I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ‘I’m bored.’ ” (Louis Szekely)
I personally have too much to do and too little time to do it – in ministry, in private life, and in exercising all the talents and opportunities I’ve been afforded by my Creator. I long for quiet moments, tedious moments, when I can just slow down and be at peace before God and with my wife. But I’ve come to anticipate that even those moments will be interrupted by a call to watch and entertain the grandkids, or to counsel some man who is hurting, or even by a brilliant thought that I just have to write out before I lose it.
I can’t remember ever being bored, even as a kid. Though I did a lot of things I shouldn’t have done – but I wasn’t bored. Young author and blogger, Amit Kalantri explains this as, “People fear nothing as much as boredom and they will do unimaginable things to make it go away.” I’d rephrase that to, “Creative people will stretch themselves to make even the humdrum exciting.” And twenty-six year-old Amit fits that profile exactly. An electronics and telecommunications engineer from India, his interests spread wide and far into writing and film-making. He is by no means bored with life.
We’ve all been given tremendous gifts and talents by God. If you don’t know what else to do, come by my local church (or one in your neighborhood.) Share those gifts with others. You’ll be amazed at how exciting it is working in God’s Kingdom with His people. I’m having a ball, and developing new skills at the same time. I don’t have the capacity to be bored.