I remember years ago I was at the front of the auditorium after service at our prayer for healing segment when a lady came up for prayer. She sighed and looked listless. She said, “I’m bored.” I was like, “Excuse me?” She repeated, “I’m really bored I don’t know what to do any more.”
What’s interesting was that Pastor Yang was preaching about the glory of God in that service and almost everyone was on the ground sobbing. She said nothing in church excites her anymore.
People around you can be encountering the glory and power of God and you can feel bored, and it’s not the preacher’s fault? It has something to do with your heart!
I was very fascinated by that incident as I’ve never been bored since I’ve received my assignment. I’m not trying to be arrogant nor belittle the point but hear my heart.
Have I been exhausted? Yes. Have I ever felt stressed out? Multiple times, but I’m never bored. Why? Because God gave me an assignment and I’m not done. Once you’re living for the King, you become so focused on your assignment that it’s quite hard to be bored.
What’s boredom? Very simply put, boredom is disinterest. It’s the state of finding something, or task uninteresting. For example, when someone says, “I’m bored; there’s nothing to do,” they don’t literally mean there’s nothing to do. What they really mean is, “I can’t think of anything to do that interests me.” This is why we can be very busy and bored at the same time! Because boredom is not the opposite of busyness, it’s the opposite of interest.
We as disciples are never made for a programme, never made to be satisfied by a sermon with just enough advice to get over the ‘hump’ of the week. The human heart was designed to experience the fullness of God – the adventure of living life with God!
The longings of our hearts are deposited by God and it was He who created those desires. The secret is to unleash them in your pursuit of God. Our desire for adventure and intimacy are meant to be awakened and fulfilled in our relationship with God.
Think of boredom as a dashboard warning indicator that starts dinging. We’re the most entertained generation that ever existed. All the information that exists is within reach of your smart devices; we’ve more things to read and yet many of us are bored out of our minds. That’s interesting.
The implication is that we’re called to more glorious things. We’re not designed to be fulfilled by watching hours of Netflix every night. We’re invited to be part of the greatest saga of the move of God being unleashed on this earth, and we’re invited to participate and not just be a spectator.
That boredom in us is actually a call upwards, to be part of the greatest adventure that the world will ever know.
I’m not an expert in this but, through my journey with people who have inspired me through the years, I’ve discovered a few keys.
1. Cry out to the Lord to touch your eyes and heart.
“If I’m not willing, help me to be willing.” I’ve prayed this multiples times. I realise when I go to the Psalms, even David the psalmist struggled with feeling excited about the Bible.
“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your [Word]” (Psalm 119:18).
It tells me the psalmist can go to the Word and not see anything – the same way we sometimes stare at a page and see only blank pages. We feel horrible because of how bored we are. So we join the psalmist in praying, “O God, open my eyes.”
“Satisfy me in the morning with your steadfast love” (Psalm 90:14). We join the psalmist in pleading, “Open my eyes, satisfy my heart, Holy Spirit. Don’t leave me in this season of boredom or deadness.”
It takes supernatural grace to touch our hearts so we can awaken each morning to proclaim like the psalmist, “Your law and statutes are like honey to my lips.”
Even when you don’t feel like it, keep tending the garden like a farmer who pulls the weeds every day because, sooner or later, in God’s sovereign timing, it will grow.
2) Get close to people who are not bored.
‘Come near to the holy men and women of the past and you’ll soon feel the heat of their desire after God. They mourned for Him, prayed and wrestled and sought for Him day and night, in season and out, and when they found Him, the finding was all the sweeter for the long seeking.’ A. W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
Tozer notes that, when you come near the holy men and women, you ‘feel the heat of their desire after God.’ If you want to get on fire, get close to those who are on fire. Watch them, ask questions, and ask the Lord to place His Holy Spirit in you.
Someone once said to me, “Whenever I feel dry, I’d listen to Pastor Yang’s sermons on revival and cry out so that my heart would catch the fire too.”
When you’re swimming in the sea of boredom, maybe it’s time to go against the current and catch the wave of radical Christianity and faith. And those who are not bored are never boring.