Thursday, February 05, 2004

The Gift of Boredom

Dear Friends,

Hope everyone everyone survived last night’s blizzard. I woke up this morning pretty amazed. Isn’t that just like life? In the matter of moments the landscape of our lives can change drastically. If you’re like me though, it’s hard to imagine that kind of upheaval when the monotony of ordinariness keeps repeating itself everyday. Sometimes it’s even easy to get lost in the monotony, to lose one’s bearings, one’s sense of direction, ones’ sense of self, even one’s sense of God’s presence. Jeanie Miley describes this experience in her book Creative Silence:

Where are you, God?—My struggle didn’t end just because I wanted it over with in short order. It seemed to me that God had left me and I could not find Him. As I walked about, carrying on the daily responsibilities, but searching for guidance and battling my self-will run riot, I carried on the inner dialogue with this God who seemed to be hiding.

The questioning for me usually falls along the same lines, and at the core of the question is the issue of whether or not I am going to let God run the world. I question the direction I am to take. I wonder if He is going to take care of things and provide. I wrestle with Him as I work through relationships and conflicts, and yet in the struggle, I find Him and new depths of His love.

Underneath it all, the quiet abiding presence of our Lord is always with us . . . regardless of how we feel. One of the things my father told me as I was trying to figure out my future during college was that, “If we are absolutely committed to seeking God’s will, then God is absolutely committed to revealing it. God may not reveal it ahead of time, but God will always reveal it just in time.” In some ways those endlessly stagnant seasons in our lives are moments of testing and strengthening, when we discover how deep our faith really goes. It is as if our circumstances reveal how willing we really are to follow Christ, not just through the good times, not just through the exciting times, not even just through the difficult times. It leaves us with the question: Do I love Him enough to follow Him, even through the boring times?

As time has passed in my own life, I have learned a vital truth that serves to strengthen my own resolve in dry seasons. It is this: the boring times are really not boring at all. They are seasons of great growth and action, but all of it is unseen to the human eye. From God’s perspective, we are being seeded with the newness of His plans and purposes for us. It is like the trees in winter. The look dead above ground, but below the surface their roots are growing more than at any other time of the year. The same is true for us. In the monotony, in the boredom, in the middle of those days where nothing seems to be happening, we are being transformed in ways we could never imagine. The promises of God are being planted in us, fertilized and nurtured, so that at an appropriate Spring-like day of the soul they will burst forth with reckless and beautiful abandon. But it never happens without the waiting.

Keep the faith. You are all precious. God is doing awesome things in you.



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