Summary: Boredom is just one of many emotions that can rob us from having a wonder relationship with the Lord.
Escape from Boredom’s Path
Jesus said, “A man’s life consist not in the abundance of things which he possess. Yet men and women today feverishly are seeking satisfaction in power, profit, and pleasure. As the poet Cowper has said, these people will be disappointed in their search, for they are seeking in the wrong places for happiness.
Lord Byron was a genius with position and wealth in his possession. All of these advantages could not bring him lasting satisfaction and inward peace. On his 33rd birthday, he was standing in the center of boredom’s path, and he wrote:
Through life’s dull road so dim and dirty,
I have dragged to three and thirty.
What have these years left me?
Nothing, except thirty three.
Scores of people can be classified as being both bored and boring. Seeing no real meaning in life, they scowl and accuse. Having their own pattern of thoughts, they choose never to widen the circumference of their outlook. To such people, every ship seems romantic except the one on which they sail. Boredom’s path is indeed crowded.
I. How does one enter boredom’s path?
a. By being content with mediocrity.
i. Willingness to be mediocre leads to boredom’s path
ii. The scope and magnitude of this mediocrity is seen in many facets of our society.
iii. Public education is not as strong as it should be.
iv. Industry is satisfied to manufacture cheap products.
v. Employees do substandard work and waste company time
vi. Even the church must come in for a scathing indictment at this point: Programs and often poorly planned, music is often ineffectively rendered, and sermons are often more noise than content.
b. Purposelessness brings one to boredom’s path.
i. For many, life is not going anywhere
ii. It seems to be only a series of circles, an endless round or routines.
iii. People who have no sense of mission, or who have undertaken so many diverse endeavors that their lives are fragmented, need to organize their lives so that they can say with Paul, “One thing I do!”
c. Idleness brings one to boredom’s path
i. An old saying does, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”
ii. True enough. Extended idleness is also a breeding ground for boredom.
iii. People who do not work, have not worked, and are not planning to work are bored half to death.
iv. In the last days of the Roman empire the people demanded not only bread but also a circus. Why?
1. They wanted something to care for their stomachs and to minister to their boredom.
2. Idleness often brings one to boredom’s path.
d. A wrong attitude toward life leads to boredom’s path
i. You will find yourself in the middle of boredom’s path if you have a wrong attitude toward life.
ii. A spirit of selfishness that says, “I’m going to do my own thing!” leads to boredom’s path.
1. You keep doing things your own way and eventually you will be all alone.
II. What does it cost to stay on boredom’s path
a. It cost the loss of reverence
i. Boredom makes us irreverent toward all life.
ii. We pass by some of life’s most sacred things without a glance, with no reaction whatever.
iii. Life becomes mechanical
b. It costs the loss of enthusiasm.
i. Enthusiasm is a word that has for its root meaning, “God in us.”
ii. It means to be possessed by God.
iii. When one is caught in the midst of boredom, the childish wonder and awe of life disappear, and the dullness of life takes control.
c. It costs the loss of superior work.
i. A bored person will produce inferior work
ii. Employees bored with their jobs can hardly be expected to produce an acceptable product.
iii. A housewife who is bored usually finds her home in disarray, and she wonders why.
d. It cost the loss of contentment and happiness
i. Boredom slows down the clock and lengthens the days.
ii. The day never ends for someone caught on boredom’s path, it just seems to go on and on and on.
III. Boredom’s path leads to many dead ends
Various unbiblical answers abound.
a. There is the answer of despair
i. Despair says, “Life will always be boring and empty. There is no escape. Just curse God and die. End it all!”
ii. This is the decision that thousands choose every year.
b. Stoicism says boredom of life can be escaped by sealing your heart to all feeling.
i. Put it away
ii. Deaden your emotions
iii. Refuse ever to give in to tears.
iv. Turn away from the thought that life is empty.
v. Harden your heart until it does not bother you.
c. There is the answer of denial