Overcoming Boredom

For some people, the thought of being bored isn’t something that crosses their mind. They simply don’t have that issue. If that is you, you can keep reading, just realize that this won’t apply much to you. For anyone like myself who at times feels unmotivated or at least uncertain what to do next, I’d like you to consider something.

What do you do when you get bored? What do you do when you simply aren’t sure what to do? When nothing is overly motivating? There are times when I find myself there. I can’t think of anything that I have to get done. I can’t always think of something I even want to do. In those moments of boredom it’s easy to become very self-centered. To think about what you don’t have or can’t do because if you could have or do those things, you wouldn’t be bored. Boredom really tries to draw us into thinking only about ourselves and how nothing is worth doing in that moment.

I was recently thinking about this and an idea slapped me upside the head that I should have thought of sooner. What hit me was this idea: what if every time I was bored I decided to do something good for someone else? Boredom for me is often an uncertainty as to what to do next. What if I always had an answer to that question? What if I knew what to do?

As I mentioned earlier so often my struggle is simply about me. All I think about is what can I do to make myself happy but what if I put Php. 2:1-4 into practice here. Listen to what Paul writes:

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (ESV)

While we might not call boredom “selfish ambition or vain conceit” I think we can see how it has some similarities because of the selfish focus. Here Paul encourages us to place our focus on others and their needs. So, with that in mind, think about this:

What if instead of scrolling through Netflix for 30 minutes hoping to find something to remove the boredom we instead chose to scroll through our list of friends on Facebook and prayed for them?

What if instead of sitting on the couch with that mopey attitude we decided to do something that would make our spouse or parents or children have a better day? Maybe we clean something up or make them something or write a note. The sky is the limit.

What if instead of simply picking up our phones and checking them for the 1,000th time hoping something catches our attention this time, we simply decided ask someone else around us how things were going? What if we tried to engage them in legitimate conversation?

Now, I would love to tell you that I’ve tried all of these things and they work but I can’t. But I believe in them and things like them. Do something good for someone else. See an opportunity when you don’t know what to do as a time to do something for someone else. Find ways to make the focus others and not just yourself.

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