Friday, October 12, 2012


“I’m bored”! How many times have you heard someone say this or how many times have you felt this way? I read an article recently about boredom. It basically said there was no excuse for being bored. It also said that if you feel bored, it’s not the situation, it’s your attitude towards whatever is perceived as boring. When I feel bored I sometimes ask myself why I feel bored. My experience is that I often feel bored when I must do something that is uninteresting or unchallenging to me. I also feel bored when I feel trapped in a situation or a place I don’t want to be. I think part of the problem with boredom is the fact that all of us live in a complex world that often over stimulates our minds. We are so bombarded with words, information, and images that when we have moments of non-stimulation we feel bored. When I lived in a monastery the biggest challenge for me was dealing with boredom. In the monastery there were not many distractions. Outside the monastery is a stone carving that says “God Alone”. We had our monastic schedule that carried us through the day but there was very little in terms of entertainment or diversion away from the purpose of being in a monastery. There was no television or radio, no recreation room, and no going to town for beer and pizza. The challenge of monastic life, and the challenge for all of us when feeling bored, is the challenge of facing yourself. It is often in these moments of boredom that we have to deal with our own nothingness. Let’s be honest. Many of us feel an emptiness within us that we try to fill with activity and all manner of escapism. We don’t want to face our own emptiness or brokenness. We hate to feel bored because we hate to face our own reality. However, we can’t avoid it forever. Sooner or later we must face our boredom and look within. We must deal with our emptiness and restlessness. We must realize that it is an emptiness and restlessness that activities and things can never fill. Monks and others of a spiritual nature find some comfort in the words of St. Augustine, a 5th century bishop and theologian who said “We will have no rest, O Lord, until we rest in you”. Others may find comfort in different spiritual teachings or ways of thinking. Basically, when we deal with our own emptiness and brokenness, we can eventually experience an inner fulfillment that has no room for boredom. We see the fullness of life all around us.

No comments: