Enjoying boredom

That title seems to be a bit ….unusual, doesn’t it? Enjoy boredom? Why would anyone want to do that? It is a bit of weird thing to write about. I would imagine every healthy child in world history has at some point complained to their parents, “I’m bored”. I learned very quickly, to not ever, ever say that, and especially to my Mother who would inevitably say in response, “Great, go clean your room.” Our culture seems to abhor boredom, perhaps more than anything else, and so why would anyone want to learn to enjoy it?

One of the things about getting older is that as you age you get a better sense of the ups and downs that come with life. Boredom is usually balanced out with excitement but that isn’t always good, and in fact the older you get the you realize that excitement isn’t always the enjoyable kind. It often means lots of stuff happening but as you get older you realize that isn’t always of the positive kind. Excitement doesn’t guarantee fun, or enjoyment, in fact it seems just the opposite. Action and activity can mean a car accident…..which usually isn’t boring, or cancer treatments which definitely aren’t boring, or any of a number of less than enjoyable events.. The ups and downs don’t always seem to balance out, or at least the downs seem to last longer than the ups. Drama in life can be exhausting and there will come a time when not only will I be ok with being bored, I can long for it. In the book and TV show, “Band of Brothers”, one of the officers of Easy Company, in the 101st Airborne during WWII, Richard Winters, makes a promise to God after the first day of D-Day that if he survived the war he would buy a piece of land and live the rest of his days in peace. He had already experienced enough “excitement” for a lifetime.

I’ve had enough drama in my life lately….I’ve gone through 6 years of cancer treatment and been through the drama of the lives of many people in twenty-one years of Pastoral ministry. I think I want to learn how to be bored…

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