The Antidote to Boredom

Author: Jim Elliff

Solomon Grundy
Born on Monday
Christened on Tuesday
Married on Wednesday
Taken ill on Thursday
Worse on Friday
Died on Saturday
Buried on Sunday
And that was the end of Solomon Grundy.

Is your life predictable? boring? “same ol’ same ol‘?”

Please excuse me for being so direct, but the problem lies with YOU. Consider the following means to a more interesting, eventful, and challenging existence:

1. Start with meditation on Scripture. This will make any bored Christian excited, lifting you out of your present doldrums into a conscious sense of God’s presence. God communicates His presence through words. When you meditate, inviting the Spirit to aid you, you will come to know the most thrilling person of the universe, God Himself. Besides that inviting prospect, God also promises that the one who meditates on Scripture “will prosper in all that he does” (Ps. 1:3). When the words of God are incorporated into the mind and affection, they change behavior. And that will liven up any sagging soul. “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

2. Shift your focus to others. It is often the problem that bored people focus on themselves. But Paul said that we “should not be concerned for our interests only, but for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4). Once a lady in a church I led was sad about her lack of effect on people. We had not given her an official job in the church that year, and she felt that she was making no impact. I asked her to write down the names of ten people in the church that needed something and then to go about meeting those needs the best she could. It was not long after that she expressed an amazing vitality and excitement about life and ministry. You could not stop her after that. Try something like that in order to come alive in the body of Christ.

3. Give till it helps. I know that this is a strange phrase, but it conveys a reality that you ought to consider. Jesus said that where your treasure is there your heart will be also (Mt. 6:21 ). If you give toward the work of the church, and to missions and worthy ministries, you will be pointing your heart toward God. Get involved in prayer and concern over what is happening with each ministry. Communicate verbally or in writing with those you support. Most people can find ways to give more each year, even if it is just by a percentage point. This will broaden your impact and perk up your interest. Also, don’t forget to give “in house,” that is, whenever you see a special need in a family or individual within the church. Slip something into their hands and make their day. It will make yours also. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

4. Get involved till you are worn out. Do a little thinking about this with a pen and paper. First, include the church activities. Then, do all you can to be involved in some additional Bible study. What service projects can you do? What about short term missions? If you are physically unable to get out, write letters to prisoners or military personnel. Use the telephone to call and encourage people. It’s your choice, and the dividends are exceptional. Overcome your inertia. If you’re old, don’t give up and “let the young people do it.” You can rest in heaven. As long as you’re here, keep active in something vital. Be a model of Christian service till you drop. Check out of life with your ministry boots on!

Years ago I knew an “ancient” woman named Miss Henker. What a whirlwind of activity she involved herself in! She was unstoppable and unflappable. Adding to her already busy schedule, she established the “pot and pan ministry” for me, then a single pastor. Since I could not offer the kind of “come over for a meal” hospitality I wished for, she did it for me. All I had to do was invite people and show up myself (with an appetite) and the rest was done. She also included me when she had the blind school students over. In fact, she could easily wear me out with activity. And she was in her eighties!

I once heard her talking to some other older folks, all hung up on their aches and pains. She pointed her finger and exhorted, “If you would pick up the newspaper and learn what’s going on, find some people who have some needs and help them out and get involved in whatever is happening in the church and the community, you wouldn’t feel so bad!” This woman of faith did not know what it meant to be bored. And you don’t have to either!

Copyright © 2006 Jim Elliff.
Permission granted for reproduction in exact form. All other uses require written permission.
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