Your brain registers the loud, obnoxious noise as your alarm. Before you even open your eyes to check how late you are — because, naturally, you’ve hit snooze three times — your thoughts scream at the unfairness of waking up so early.
Welcome to a new day.
As you swing your feet over the bed and they hit the floor, you think with a groggy mind about your schedule for the day. Get ready for your day, spend the day at work (or school), come home, have dinner, do one activity for the evening, go to bed. Start over again the next day.
And suddenly, you just feel … bored.
Bored with routine. Bored with your meals. Bored with how you look. Bored with how you feel about it all.
We all feel bored at times. In fact, there are probably multiple moments a day when we experience the restlessness that comes with a lack of interest in what’s going on around us. But the kind of deeper boredom that surrounds a yearning for something greater, this is true boredom.
As believers in Jesus, we know our souls were created to spend eternity in heaven. We know we’re commanded to glorify God and tell others about Him. We know we must “count it all joy.” Yet for some reason, we grow bored with our lives and want the next thing or just something different completely.
Do you know this feeling? It’s deeper than the boredom of waiting in line or sitting on a plane for that eight-hour flight. True boredom hits your very soul, causing you to wonder if you actually enjoy life right now. It brings fear of living in a rut instead of a vibrant life.
Pity parties and First World problems?
We tend to go one way or the other when we realize we’re experiencing true boredom. We might give into it and throw ourselves a pity party. Thoughts of, “Why is my life turning out like this?” and, “I can’t believe I never followed those dreams and desires!” come at rapid speed. Pretty soon, we’re making crazy plans to take a hiatus from work and travel the world.
Or, we might grow angry at ourselves for feeling the way we do. “This is such a first world problem,” we might think. We beat ourselves up for not feeling more thankful for all we have and all our opportunities. Millions of people have real problems while we’re just sitting here complaining about our wonderful routines.
What if there was another option? A reaction that didn’t require throwing ourselves a woe-is-me party or beating up our emotions and frustrations?
Living with purpose
No, quitting your job on a whim does not sound like the wisest thing to do, and yes, there are millions of people who live poverty-stricken lives. Does this mean your frustration and boredom are ill-founded? Maybe not.
When was the last time you thought about your purpose in life? While those of us who are believers in Christ all share the same overall purpose — glorifying God and telling others about Him — we all have unique ways of living out that purpose. Even if we don’t know the exact plan for accomplishing our purpose, God has given us gifts and desires to help us get on the right track.
Living with God’s purpose brings excitement to life. We know we’re a part of something that goes beyond this world. We see opportunities all around us, we recognize steps to take to further our impact, and we are filled with joy and humility knowing God chooses to use us. How could we ever experience true boredom when we’re living for God?
The switch doesn’t occur overnight. We can slowly begin to lose sight of God’s purpose as we give in to our earthly desires. Pretty soon, we crave things that we think will satisfy us immediately. We decide going after things of this world can coexist with fulfilling our purpose for God.
But the more we pursue this earth, the farther we stray from our purpose. We experience true boredom because we aren’t accomplishing what God desires for us. If our goals become focused on ourselves as we pursue money, a bigger home or a perfect family, we will find our souls begin to crave God. And we will feel stuck.
Instead of pity parties or beating yourself up over it all, you must choose to refocus. A tangible way of doing this is writing down God’s purpose for you. Write down your desires and the gifts God has given you. Then, pray over it all. Ask God for wisdom and conviction to know your next move.
It doesn’t stop there, though. Make it a habit to combat your earthly desires with the truth of God’s promises and His word. This can start right when you hear that annoying alarm clock blaring in your ear. Instead of going through your schedule or whatever else you might think of when you first wake up, pray. It sounds simple, but beginning your day with prayer from a humble spirit can alter your entire mood.
When you feel your boredom seeping through your attitude during the day, pull out scripture about God’s promises for you. Or remind yourself of what God has revealed to you about your specific purpose. The truth will set you free from your boredom, but this won’t happen unless you give up your earthly purpose and begin once again to pursue God’s eternal purpose for you.
Let’s Talk About It: How does true boredom affect you? How you can remind yourself of your purpose?