Is your life a “boar?” This play on the word “bore” is a billboard for a local attraction, but it strikes a nerve with many people these days. Not only do they feel bored; many more struggle with its kissing cousin, loneliness–so much so that we could almost say these are the common plight of society today. But why is this, and what is the cure?
“Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:20)
Boredom is the absence of meaningful activity, while loneliness is the absence of meaningful relationships, yet both are cured by a shift in our priorities–and consequent preoccupation and activity.
As human beings, we tend to be self-centered; we think about and work for whatever it is we want or think we need. And while it is true that there are very legitimate things we and those we are responsible for truly need, much of what we dwell on and strive towards is not. And herein lies the dilemma: the more we think about ourselves and build our own little kingdoms in this world–which, if we are brutally honest, are ultimately insignificant–the less we have of ourselves available to think about and build Christ’s kingdom–which is of utmost significance.
This is why Jesus taught, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20) He understood what is important and what is not; more than that, that it is only when we lose ourselves in the most meaningful of relationships–our love of God–and the ensuing activities and relationships with others that blossom out of this love, that we are truly fulfilled.
Jesus told us, “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:25) Those who desperately cling to the things of this life–who embody the false maxim, “he who dies with the most toys wins”–are the ones who, ironically, lose not only in eternity, but even in this life.
Because they are not nurturing their relationship with their Creator, Savior, and Sustainer God, their relationships, while initially appearing valuable, will ultimately prove meaningless because they are based upon self-interest rather than Christ. And once the novelty and energy spent pursuing whatever new thing they believe will satisfy but ultimately doesn’t has worn off, boredom sets in, because they have failed to invest in truly meaningful activity.
So, are you bored? Are you lonely? Take a look at what is important to you. Do you genuinely, “…love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind?” (Matthew 22:37) Out of that, do you find yourself, “…lov[ing] your neighbor as yourself?” (Matthew 22:39) In your heart and through your life, do you, “…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”? (Matthew 6:33) Loving God–seeking His purposes above all else–is what drives away boredom and loneliness; anything else is only a deceptive temporary solution!
Help my focus to be right; help me love You completely, that my relationships as well as my activities be genuinely meaningful! Amen.