A couple weeks ago one of my best friends gave me a book to read–Reckless Faith by Beth Guckenberger. I loved every word, but one page really caught my attention. Beth shares a story from her childhood and the lesson she’s learning from it today…
I remember when I was about six years old having my mouth washed out with soap–not because I’d said a bad word or been sassy to my mother. I had simply said the one word that can still make her wild: bored. On rainy days or summer evenings or during long programs designed for adults, we were not allowed to say, “This is boring” or “I’m bored.” If she even thought she smelled those words coming, she would quietly remind me that my attitude was what I made of it. If I was bored, it was because I was boring. There were easily a thousand things she could (and would) name that I could do. She was on a mission that we not see life (or her) as a source of entertainment. Life was what we made of it.
Although I’ve since teased her about all this, she was right. If God bores us, it is we who are boring. He came to give us life to the full. He is infinite and wild. He is fascinating and crying out for us to participate in a life he has designed specifically for us.
Bored is an attitude, not a circumstance. Many circumstances are outside my control, but I control my attitude. If I’m bored in my job or my marriage or my parenting or my walk with God, I can change that because bored is an attitude–my attitude.
This is just a hypothetical situation but when the first few days of March bring sub-freezing temps and a layer of snow and ice leaving you stuck inside the house for 48 hours straight with two little ones who have exhausted all their toys and moved on to coloring the wall with markers and “reorganizing” your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, bored feels like a circumstance. So does insanity. (But again–this is strictly hypothetical.)
I love where Beth shares what her mother would remind her, “If I was bored, it was because I was boring.” The irony in our fast-paced world is that we can be busy and bored at the same time. We can be going and doing and running and racing but be bored because bored is an attitude.
I think it’s human nature to want to change my actions once my feelings change. I keep on doing what I’ve been doing telling myself that I’ll change once my emotions shift, but that doesn’t work. Feelings don’t lead me well, and if I wait until I feel something I might never do it. If I wait until I feel unhurt, I might never forgive my friend. If I wait until I feel prepared, I might never serve. If I wait until I feel completely understood, I might never submit to my husband. If I wait until I feel secure, I might never step out in faith. Feelings don’t lead me well.
If there is an area or relationship in my life that feels boring, I am responsible because I’m responsible for my attitude. But the good news is I can change my attitude. I can choose an attitude of forgiveness or faith or fun. I can choose to act and let my feelings follow. I can change bored–because bored is an attitude, not a circumstance.