How to Kill the Lie of Boredom
If you type in YOLO on Google, you’ll quickly be shown two top results. A county in California (close to where I used to live) and Wikipedia’s explanation of the acronym, “you only live once.” You’ll be happy to know that this first post is not about a California country, so no need to exit now. But, do you remember when that phrase first started to be used? Everyone was saying and hashtagging it. You would hear friends say, “I stretched. YOLO.” Or, “Dude, why are you still saying YOLO.” With the response, “YOLO.” We may barely hear it now, but I think what that phrase did for us in culture, in the sense of the impact it had, is something that remains today. There is a thrill we are looking for in life. We want to be entertained. We get bored so easily and quickly. And, I think we have allowed that to creep into our relationship with Jesus.
If you were to ask yourself honestly right now, is the Christian life boring to me? What would be your genuine answer? Yes, no, maybe? I don’t know?
If we are all honest, I think we all have been in idle moments in our walk with Jesus. You may be reading this now and realizing that it is precisely where you are right now. I know I have been there. It has been described before as hills and valleys. Have you been on a retreat or a camp, and you got that ‘high?’ But after days or weeks, it faded, and you find yourself sitting in the valley, and maybe feeling all alone. If we actually were honest with one another more frequently, I think we would be able to look up and see others around us when we are in the valleys and see that we aren’t alone.
I think there are a couple of reasons that happens to us, but I want to zoom in on the lie that we are entrapped into believing. That is, if I am not experiencing the ‘high’ and finding thrill in Jesus, then I’ll give up and sit idle until it comes back. It’s the lie that Satan has led us to believe that the Christian life is meant to be a constant rush. That ‘high’ should last, and if it doesn’t, then it’s better to pack your bags and give up.
The problem with lies is that they are meant to lead us away from the truth. If you haven’t heard it before, the Christian life won’t be a constant rush. It is not going to be straight fire all the time. There are going to be lots of moments or seasons where we are going to have to persevere. There will be days that are just hard because the big plans you have had to change. Or you didn’t get your dream job. Or possibly that school program you really, really want to get in to was full.
When we are entrapped into believing the lie, we have to remind ourselves of the truth. We have to call ourselves back to Gospel truth, and the truth is always around who God is and who we are. God’s identity and our identity. If the Christian life is boring, then that means God is boring. Do we truly believe that? The Sunday School answer is no, but I sometimes think deep down in our hearts we get entangled so much that we genuinely start to believe it.
It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them.
C. K. Chesterton
A synonym for bored is tired. God never gets tired of telling the sun every morning, “Do it again.” He is not weary at the thought of creating flowers to blossom during Spring. Satan may want us to believe that doing something over and over again is agonizingly painful. But God squashes that thought right away, by His own activity.
… and he (Jesus) holds all creation together.
Colossians 1:17 (NLT)
King Jesus is holding all things together. That includes you, me, the earth’s orbit, galaxies, etc. because Paul also writes in Colossians Chapter One that God created all things. Everything is under His control. In fact, He actually takes pleasure in continuing to create and holding all things together. It brings Him joy. He doesn’t get bored or tired of it. He delights in sustaining His creation. By the way, remember, we are His creation.
We are His creation designed to reflect who He is. Jesus came to earth as a human to deal with sin, but in doing so, it brings God and humans back into relationship; God back inside of His ultimate creation, humans. He has made His home in us again. That’s why Paul describes us as the temple in 1st Corinthians, the Spirit of God living inside of us.
But what does this all mean? If God doesn’t get bored from doing seemingly repetitive daily tasks, and we can reflect who God is because He is living within us. Then we have the choice not to view our ongoing relationship with Jesus as boring just because God didn’t heal someone through us today, or we didn’t lead worship in front of a big crowd, or because we simply just stopped and read our Bibles.
We must learn not to be spiritual thrill-seekers thinking that’s what will make us thrive as a Christian.
We thrive by abiding in Jesus. John, in his Gospel, describes it as abiding or remaining in the vine, like a branch survives being attached to its vine. We run dry or empty, and that makes us idle in our walk with Jesus when we try to leave our vine for some other illusion for being a source for life.
Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I, in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:5 (NLT)
We cannot live the Christian life by ourselves. It’s Jesus’ life to live in and through us. Our job is to simply remain in Him.
How? It is always the big question we ask. How do I remain attached to Jesus? Well, that is why we created the weekly ‘Abide Pack.’ It is a guide to following Jesus daily. Or you could say it is a guide to remaining in Jesus daily. Abide means to remain.
I invite you to journey through the ‘Abide Pack.’ Follow the daily reading plan, and pray the ‘Prayer of Submission’ in the morning and the ‘Evening Prayer’ before you go to bed. Join in the unique daily practice, and try journaling your thoughts and what God might be saying to you during the day. Fight the lie that it would be boring, by surrendering to the truth of finding these daily activities actually lead you to remain in a relationship with Jesus.
About the Author: stu barton
Stu serves as our Young Adults Pastor within our church. He gives vision, teaching, and leadership to BYA. He is both British and American as he was born in Liverpool, England, and lived in California, USA, before moving to Edmonton in 2016. He is married to Sarah and has two kids, and one on the way this summer. Pastor Stu desires to see this generation become resilient disciples by being with Jesus, becoming like Jesus, and practicing the ways of Jesus. It won’t take long for you to see that he loves people deeply, but also loves the original football (soccer) maybe a little too much!