Boredom strikes us all, and is a drudgery in life. It seems that no matter what we pursue, what we gain, what we win, what we acquire, it all eventually fades.
For some there’s “shop therapy” to help eliminate and reduce boredom. For the exploration and quick satisfaction of purchasing creates within itself an adventure. A seeking, finding, and a conquering. It’s somewhat safe, satisfying, but rarely sustaining.
For some there’s habitual working, or drinking, or anything that can help create a distraction from the boredoms at home, and in life.
For doing laundry, waiting in car line, picking weeds, and/or doing the dirty dishes, along with all the other everyday duties of life are just so unexciting. And that’s the rub – for we are conditioned to be stimulated constantly. Even a movie can be “too slow” if not packed with adventure and thrills.
But again, we like these thrills to be at a safe distance, and though bored, we don’t necessarily want to be in the same positions many of our action heroes find themselves in. We don’t want to be on sinking boats, crashing planes, shot at, and in constant peril. Yet, we also, can’t stand to be bored. So, we shop too much, work too much, drink to much, whatever it may be.
Such an interesting life we have. “Joy and sorrow always seem to kiss”, as Henry Nouwen describes it. We can’t celebrate a wedding without a sense of loss, or grieve a funeral without a sense of hope. Always this tug of war – it’s as if we fear both living and dying.
It’s the art of holding both realities – both sorrow and joy – beauty and brokenness at the same time.
Perhaps one day with healing, we will be able to pick the weeds while singing. We will realize nothing will be or can ever be perfect, and yet we still work towards betterment. We will learn to embrace the reality of our present moments – no matter where we find ourselves. No longer trying to escape them, but to allow ourselves to feel them, acknowledge them, and deal with them directly, not passively.
So whatever comes, or goes, we know our life is embedded with both sorrows and joys. And as we hold this realty, may we faithfully go anyway, love anyway, and trust God always – and without the need to turn our boredoms into distractions, but to investigate them as clues to what they are revealing within us. Perhaps invitations to embodiment, integration, and union with ourselves, God, and to be fully present.