Weekly Thought – February 16, 2021
Fred used his time well. In his last years his mobility was greatly limited. Rather than complain he used the season as a laboratory to keep his mind sharp. When he woke up in the middle of the night (as often he did) instead of fretting about his incapacity and inability to get out of bed, he played mind games like remembering all the verses of hymns or recalling punch lines to old jokes. One night he listed the punch line for 200 jokes.
Boredom is the dry rot of the soul. It comes when we feel that what we’re doing isn’t worth the time nor is it interesting, worthwhile, or challenging. Boredom can be the result of living too efficiently and less effectively. When life becomes a series of habits and routines, then our creative juices are not adequately stirred.
Oftentimes we hear children (and grandchildren) say, “I’m bored.” The best answer for that is a question: “What are you going to do about it?” We need to learn very early when we are bored it is our responsibility, not others’ to get us out of it. If we stay bored too long we escape into pseudo-sophistication or we become melancholy, refusing to lift ourselves by our emotional bootstraps. The quagmire isn’t the job of others– it is ours.
1) Break up the repetition of life. Sometimes the simplest changes will help because they force us to use our minds and not just mindless routines. When I was doing platform speaking constantly, I would find a talk became boring to me, but I would rearrange the points just to increase my interest and concentration. Routine we need for efficiency, but life is not just a time management exercise.
2) Add something to your life. Start a new activity, begin a new hobby, see the old things in a new way, start new friendships and new activities, do something specific for others each day – these spark us and generate energy. Here are some others I can recommend: enroll in a course, sign up for a film series, symphony season, summer theater, athletic event, or Bible study, but do something which stretches and enhances. Do something good! Remembering the more bored you are, the less interested you will be when you start, remember you will become more interested as you involve yourself. And the more interested you are, the more interesting you will become.
3) Take something bad out of your life. We all have things that need correcting. The sedentary life is a good place to start making a change. One of the most interesting men I know has decided to stop reading the daily newspaper because so much of it is repetitious and has absolutely no earthly value. Some of us may need to stop an activity which is nothing more than just activity. Surely you can find something to throw out. Mary Alice and I spent one New Year’s Eve in Naples, Italy. We are intrigued with their custom of throwing things out the window they didn’t want to carry into the new year. The street is so littered that cars cannot travel for several hours. It appeared everyone had something to toss out. It is a good way to begin the war on boredom.
Boredom is a sure sign of poor self-management.
This week think about: 1) How often do I feel bored? 2) What are my remedies when I feel stale? 3) Who needs the challenge of taking personal responsibility for emotional maturity?
Words of Wisdom: “The more interested you are, the more interesting you become.”
Wisdom from the Word: “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the undisciplined, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient toward all.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NET Bible)