Miss Betty instructed me for twenty-five years. She shared all manner of wisdom with me and, for some reason, this particular phrase sticks out in my mind. She said that Christ-followers always have something to do.
As a child who cared mostly about amusing myself, this idea jolted me a little bit. “All those times I feel whiny and bored, I can be doing something to increase my Bible knowledge, helping a neighbor, or praying? But, those sound like work!”
Miss Betty, indeed, was never bored. And if she was, she hid it well and then found something to do quickly. Part of the reason she was never bored was that she stayed on her knees in prayer. People flooded her with prayer requests, and she had many needs to bring before the Father. When she was not praying, she was studying God’s word, taking care of her home, spending time with her family, or ministering to others. She may have referred to her time with others as visiting, but she was ministering. Even her smile was enough to melt away the stress in her friends’ hearts.
Her Words Are Still Ringing In My Ears
As an adult, I still hear those words ringing in my ears. “A Christian should never be bored.” To echo Miss Betty’s lesson, I recall my pastor saying, “A lazy Christian is a disgrace to God.” Oomph!!! Perhaps the reason these quotes are stuck in my heart like porcupine quills is that I deeply struggle in these ways.
Though I have too many adult duties to be bored much these days, I do fight to keep time for myself. A day without downtime seems unbearable ~cue dramatic music~. How will I make it through the week if I do not get to play enough Candy Crush or watch twenty reruns of my favorite shows?
Sometimes, as I rush through my tasks in pursuit of my next break, I am convicted by these life lessons.
Putting This Lesson Into Practice
To be perfectly honest, my flesh does not want to put this lesson into practice. When I am happily lounging for the fourth night in a row, I do not want to be reminded of unfinished tasks. Still, our loving Holy Spirit is quick to remind us of those truths we would rather forget.
As long as I operate in a self-seeking, lazy way, I will never see all that God wants me to see, understand all He desires me to learn, or become the person He created me to be. As long as I hide my head under my covers and focus on today’s comforts and today’s tiny rewards, I will miss out on the blessing of a close, connected relationship with my Father. No, a Christian should never be bored. We can always be going about doing the Father’s work – growing in our faith, praying for others who desperately need God, and blessing people in practical ways.
Who Will My Words Impact?
When Miss Betty made that random statement many years ago, she had no way of knowing it would come back to me again and again for the rest of my life. ~smile~ Thank you, once again, Miss Betty for unknowingly impacting me.
Perhaps a sub-lesson to come out of this week’s series is the reminder that we never know how our words will impact someone else. When I am chatting with my friends over coffee, their children’s little ears are always nearby. I could say something uplifting which will motivate them for years, or I could say something negative which might confuse them or give them an incorrect view of God. Just as Miss Betty impacted me for good, I can impact a young heart negatively if I am not careful with my words.
It has been fun (and a little sad) reminiscing about the lessons Miss Betty taught me – most of them indirectly. If you have people in your life whom you look up to and admire, I challenge you to take some time and write down the knowledge they have imparted to you. One day when your memory is fuzzy, you will be glad to have your notes. And, if you are blessed to have them still in your life, ask them questions. Pick their brains. Learn their secrets and soak up their wisdom. I thought I would have Miss Betty around for many more years. She was someone I could scarcely imagine my life without; and, now that she is gone, I wish I could ask her so many questions I never thought to ask when she was here.
Are You Bored?
If you have enjoyed a lot of me-time lately and are beginning to feel restless and aimless, consider this simple lesson – a Christian should never be bored. Take a long look at your lifestyle and habits and hold them up to Scripture. Is the way you are spending your time honoring God? Are you making the most of the time He has given you? Do you sleep soundly as one who has worked heartily for God’s glory, or fitfully as one who has wasted a lot of time (Colossians 3:23-24)?
I am not preaching at you – believe me. If anything, I am preaching to myself. I suppose we all can use the exhortation. What a blessing it will be to live a full, surrendered, boredom-free life!
Are you satisfied with how you spend your time?