Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I believe a part of human life in this present existence consists of some level of boredom. For some this may not be true, but for most of the rest of us, I think we do encounter a sense of tediousness, as we go about our daily routines and at times, our less than exciting jobs.

It is interesting that most of Jesus' life is unrecorded. He was about thirty when his ministry began which lasted around three years before his death, resurrection and ascension. But prior to that, the only mention we have of him was when he was at the temple at the age of twelve.

Jesus by trade was a carpenter or something of some sort of trade (depending on the meaning of the word), and seemed to live a quiet existence in Nazareth. Certainly Jesus knows firsthand what it meant to face the same responsibilities day in and day out. To grow physically tired, yet to maintain a love for life that surely meant he was not bored, at least not in the way I can become at times myself.

I work at a factory; we do the same kind of things everyday. It can get tedious, but I find that it's a blessing to keep active and busy. And in the midst of it all, to seek to keep my focus on God in Christ, to try to meditate on Scripture, to pray, to be in fellowship with others, to seek to be obedient to God, cast my cares on God, and confess my sins to God. To view all I do as part of our worship of God; barely started on that one.

When I'm bored that usually means I'm unhappy with the present and want to move on, not a part of the will of God for me in Jesus. It could just mean I need some rest, as in sleep. (Wouldn't a daily early afternoon nap be nice!)

But let's not despise the days and years of what seems to be the mundane. Let's remember that Jesus lived through that most of his adult life. And by the Spirit, he can walk with us, and we with him through our daily existence with its peaks and all its valleys.

What have you learned about boredom in your life?


preacherman said...

All the time! :-)
It is hard to stay bored to long with 3 sons under the age of 6 though.

On another note Ted; if you would like to visit my blog I am need of you prayers. It means a lot to me. Thanks.

I believe that the prayer of a righteous man goes far and I consider you Ted to be a righteous man thought the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks. Your friend and fellow clergyman.
Kinney Mabry

23 degrees said...

I really like what you said about viewing ALL we do as part of our worship to God.

I think boredom sometimes can be a time of quietness, of listening—an incubator for creativity.

Andrew said...

I think I've experienced very little in the way of boredom so far, but I'm sure those days will come. The transition back to life in America, moving to VA, and starting a new career of energy-consuming work while trying to juggle a long-distance relationship hardly leaves me bored!

But I think it's really interesting that most of Jesus' life is unrecorded. Wouldn't it be, we wonder, much more "relevant" to know how Jesus lived the rest of the time--how he worked, what he ate (all those "What Would Jesus Eat" diet books!), how he interacted with young women. But those aren't, apparently, the things the Holy Spirit deems necessary for us to know.

Thanks for your lengthy comments on my baptism posts. Olivia was joking about them and how involved they are! They're certainly food for considerate thought, and the manner in which you write and encourage me is pastoral indeed.

So you work at a factory?

Allan R. Bevere said...

Do not long to go back to the past, enjoy the present moment, and anticipate the future.

I try to remind myself of these words on a regular basis.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I'll be more than honored to do that. Thanks so much, brother, and am in prayer right now for you in my heart.

Ted M. Gossard said...

23 degrees,
Yes, I read from some author I much respect, that these times can be facilitators of creativity. Kind of like desert experiences that while they may be dry, make us find certain oases we may never care to find, otherwise, perhaps.

I don't get it, but it does seem the case in my own experience, I would guess.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, I guess I never long to go back though I would like to change a number of things, and one has to start early on that, since what comes up in our lives is planted much earlier. But to live in the present in anticipation of God's future in Jesus, living in that present with Emmanuel, that's where it's at. I must admit, I'm tired physically, but that's a part of getting older, with a number of responsibilities, and not getting them all done, I'm afraid. And working hard and long hours, getting up so early, as I do.

but I know your work, Allan, can be quite emotionally and from that physically taxing. Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, it would be interesting. But it's interesting how even what is recorded about Jesus during his public ministry is rather austere in what is given. But you're right of course, what we need is all there.

Glad you encounter no boredom. I love books, interacting with others on theology, but above all trying to pastor others. Probably a combination of the two. But I never overcame my inner sense of just not measuring up until recent years. I think that held me back for so many years. I don't know....

But thanks for your most kind words. You are an avid and good student of God's Word. Keep at it, brother. And glad Olivia gets a kick out of my comments.

Ted M. Gossard said...

By the way, Andrew, I do work at RBC Ministries. So it's a blessing to work for a good ministry organization that has some really good thinkers and writers. And I get to fellowship with them some, along with a young aspiring writer on my team. I am blessed in spite of the factory work, enjoying the guys on my team. But too tired, lately.

Kim said...

I don't do boredom very well, LOL! Therefore, I find I'm very rarely bored, because I actively try to prevent it. But when it does hit, when the activity stops, or I'm sick and tired of the mundane, I usually take it as a sign that God is trying to get my attention. Usually that means he wants me to just stop and listen, or hit "autopilot" and listen.

Honestly, I think I need to work on making myself stop. To stop the thrill-seeking at every turn, and be content to "just be". While I try to keep busy for God, sometimes I miss what He's trying to say to me.

Just an aside...I have a tendency to consider everything I do or don't do as having some sort of spiritual significance in the grand scheme of things. Is that healthy, or just ego-centric?

Good post, Ted - very thought-provoking, and encouraging, actually. :-)