Ever felt the drag of an unoccupied heart?
Boredom would trouble even the busiest of people. That's because boredom is always an inside job - it's not really the product of externals. But healing boredom is an inside job too. Healing comes from feeling within us the love God has for each of His children. It comes from glimpsing our true selfhood as God's satisfied spiritual offspring.
God loves His creation with an unqualified love. When we accept this spiritual fact - and begin to really feel it - we can put our hearts into anything and we'll no longer be bored!
The New Testament gives us many examples of people whose vacant hearts were renewed through Christ Jesus' inspiring exemplification of God's love for man.
Take Peter, for instance. ''Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,'' n1 Jesus once told Peter and Andrew. And follow him Peter did, listening and learning as Jesus taught and healed. And how Peter grew! No doubt a love beyond just himself began to fill his heart.
n1 Matthew 4:19.
But then came the crucifixion. And with Jesus no longer there in person, Peter returned to fishing. Had God's love failed? Had evil overcome one so good as Jesus? And had the love that filled Peter's heart deserted it? How bored, how empty Peter must have felt, sitting there all night and catching no fish!
But as we know so well, after the crucifixion came the resurrection. ''Did not our heart burn within us . . . ?'' n2 recalled two disciples who had walked and talked with Jesus soon after his resurrection. And when Jesus met with the disciples for their morning meal, Peter's heart must have burned with renewed purpose and love and victory. Here was the proof that God's love is indeed stronger than any threat of attack.
n2 Luke 24:32.
Peter responded by following Jesus' command to carry his teachings and healing work into the world. And Peter did so wholeheartedly, as we can see from the New Testament accounts of his work.
Of course, God's love for man is not restricted to a certain time or even to certain people. As the child of God, each of us is not only worthy of God's love but is the recipient of it. God and man coexist in eternal being, and God's love for man is the law of this being. This spiritual truth makes a whole heart possible now.
Boredom often reduces to a question of values and affections. If our affections are essentially worldly, we open ourselves to boredom, because materiality would separate us from a sense of God's presence and from the satisfaction that He alone can provide. What do we value about ourselves, our jobs, and our friends? Is it flashiness - simply an outward look? Or is it something deeper? ''We should examine ourselves and learn what is the affection and purpose of the heart, for in this way only can we learn what we honestly are ,'' n3 writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 8.
It fell to me once, as a reading instructor, to teach a young man to read who had severe learning problems. I accepted the job and began energetically enough. But the slowness of the pace soon made the job a drag. Yes, I felt bored!
But one day I had a complete change of heart. I saw the great effort he was putting into the lessons. You could see that his heart was full and up to the task. And I knew that God's love for him and his obvious love for God, good, made possible such a keen interest in something he had never really been successful at. If he could show such love, who was I to say that what he was doing was boring! In this instance I felt divine Love turning my heart to discover this young man's true potential as God's spiritual idea.
No, there were not big, flashy strides of progress. But there were steady, meaningful steps. And we have made continuous progress from that day forward. There has been no more boredom!
Overcoming boredom doesn't really depend on pumping a new rush of people or activities into our lives. The solution lies at a much deeper level than that. It's found in understanding and feeling the power of God's love, winning our hearts and filling us with new energy and joy. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2