Bring on the Boredom
“I’m bored!” We’ve all heard it, and at some point in our lives, we’ve said it. And as the season moves on, parents are likely hearing it more frequently as vacations and summer camps come to an end and there is “nothing” fun to do.
You may think I’m crazy, but I look forward to the day when I can breathe those words. I long for the moment when there’s nothing on my to-do list, no one to call, and everything neatly in order in my home with free time to sit and read a book. I. Can’t. Wait. Maybe I’m strange but I actually like the everyday “boring” chores and mundane routines with predictable outcomes that can be completed and checked off my list without an unexpected interruption or an emergency. In my opinion, being overly stimulated, busy, or running around with little free time is overrated – boredom may just be the best kept secret.
In his book, The Will of God as a Way of Life, author Jerry Sittser explains how learning to find contentment in the ordinary can yield great lessons in responsibility and obedience as it teaches children (and adults) to fulfill daily commitments. “For some strange reason God must value routine because much of life consists of little more. Our lives are filled with the mundane, the forgettable, and the boring,” Sittser wrote. “Why did God design life to be so ordinary? Because routine itself is like a laboratory in which God grows us up. … Routine builds habit, whether bad or good.”
What would happen at the recital without all those monotonous piano lessons? How would you do on that exam without studying? Who gets a paycheck without showing up to work? All of these routine tasks have the potential to produce something positive in our lives, and embracing them will help us mature, become more self-disciplined, and set a course for our lives.
So cherish these remaining, possibly boring, lazy days of summer before school resumes bringing with it jam-packed schedules of sports practices, lessons, and homework. As my mom always says, “Every day can’t be gangbusters!” She is right – some days are just downright boring.
Bring ‘em on!