Day Thirteen: Brave Enough to Be Bored
I have a deep-seated phobia.
It keeps me restless, anxious, discontent. I constantly fear its presence around every corner. I'm afraid it'll find me when I least suspect it, so I keep myself busy.
I fear being bored.
I fear it, so I check my Twitter feed and scroll through Facebook.
And though I struggle to manage this fear in little ways, it also creeps into the more important areas of my life-- boredom in work, ministry, art, community, -- everything.
When I'm bored I'm tempted to be unfaithful. I'm tempted to not keep my word. To trade the valuable and mundane for excitement. And if I'm honest, I put a higher premium on being entertained than being faithful.
It's like I'd rather be sad, angry, happy, amused, anything! Just God forbid I should get bored and discontent.
But it's better to have a friend who is faithful and present than one who merely keeps life full of drama. It's the faithful who build kingdoms and maintain empires. Those who show up, no matter how mundane, no matter how drab the task. Who are faithful in the face of boredom who reap the reward.
And sometimes I think it's harder to stay faithful in the face of bored than adversity. We like the drama, we secretly crave it.
One of my favorite analogies in the Bible is that of the farmer. Farmers look at the long term goal. They see the harvest when no one else does. They imagine the fruitfulness and plant in faithfulness. They are patient because they know good things, the best things require time and consistency. They work in the sun, rain, heat, and wait for the ground to break forth with slow-growing, life-giving food.
Because the world is full of people like me! The world needs more farmers. More people willing to sow a seed and wait for it to grow. People who finish the race. Who brave the boredom and battle the discontentment.
But it's my prayer today to be faithful. To show up when others leave, to be present when others falter, to practice seeing the future.
To be brave, like the farmer.