Battle against bored

When I am at work, I am tied to the phone within a five-ring radius. That does not get me very far from my desk. Some days are filled with projects from the moment I step in the door until ten minutes after I am off. But others, like today, I count by the number of hours until there is only one hour left. I began the day wishing it was over.

And that bothered me! What a waste of time to wish so many hours did not exist. Don’t the activities, thoughts, people, interactions of today matter? What if there was a giant solar flare, or terrorist attack, or that cataclysmic earthquake?

But is it possible to live each day like it may be your last?

Hebrews 11 talks about the heroes of faith who had a perspective that stretched much further than their day, week, or lifetime:

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”

If I could have picked a different schedule for my day, I would have been very tempted to change it. How do you reach this place of contentment? We are living in the time that people waited for through the generations, as 1 Peter 1 says of the prophets’ perspectives:

“12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.”

Every time I hear about the Middle East, I am surprised by a culture that does not measure time by the new fashion season or even a single lifetime. They grasp history by the century. And I think that is much closer to how God sees time – as an expanse. Yet at the same time, each moment may present an opportunity to change how we live the rest of our lives. It is like what Peter says in 2 Peter 3:

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

So each moment can influence us, but the ultimate goal is in the distant future. That allows our hope to not fly away, but not be lost in the present either. Even if one day is boring for a few hours, we can be thankful for God’s long-term plan for our lives. And that can change how we see the whole day.

God, thank You for this perspective on the battle today. I feel like I lost to boredom and a pity party. Please help me to get past instant gratification and be thankful for the long-term hope that You provide. That will provide peace for the moments of today. Thanks for a learning process, Amen.

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