28 Feb 2009
Some people have a hard time with nothing. They get all jittery and nervous and don’t know what to do with themselves. I, on the other hand, enjoy nothing better than anything I can think of. Of course, right now I’m not busily engaged in thinking. I’m saving my thinking for when I really need it.
Recently, I was tempted to give the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage a piece of my mind, but then I thought better of it. I only have one piece left and I’m saving that for something really important. Then my mind will be gone. The question I often ponder is this, when my mind is gone will I miss it?
Some people are deathly allergic to boredom of any kind. Me, I embrace boredom as a bosom buddy. I am never happier than when I am bored. If the truth were known, I’m happy most of the time.
My wife often opines that it is merely a streak of laziness in me. That shows how little she knows. I haven’t streaked for years.
Some people when they have nothing to do look around for something. When I have something to do, I look around for nothing. And the strange thing is, I often find it.
I began thinking about this the other day when I heard somebody sigh very deeply and say, “I sure am bored.”
I remember at the time, I was envious of that person because I had something to do. My to-do-list that day was longer than my to-do. I was wishing upon a star that I could be as bored as my friend. O, for just one hour of sheer boredom. The luxury of it all.
Although many people complain about boredom, I believe there is a lot to be said for boring. It seems to me that boredom gets a bad rap from people who do not know a gem when they see it.
I’m at the stage of life where the most exciting thing going for me is not having anything to do. Several hours of sheer tedium is quite a blessing.
I know there was a time in my life, those radically immature years, when every day I scurried around frantically looking for something to do. I was afraid of monotony and was not happy unless I was busily engaged in some kind of furious activity. And woe be unto me if I ever repeated myself in anything. My definition of activity at the time was simply some physical activity ... any activity.
Through the years as I have matured, my definition of activity has evolved. It is the only part of evolution I believe in. Now, I can be actively engaged in doing absolutely nothing. I can rigorously pursue zilch, naught, or nil.
My personal favorite is nil, for the simple reason I have no idea what it is. If I would stumble over it in the middle of the night, I would not recognize it.
There was a time when that would have bothered me. In my more immature years, I clambered after the definition of everything. Happiness eluded me if there was something I did not know. Now, as I have matured, I don’t need to know so much. In fact, there is a whole list of things I do not want to know anything about.
When I think of boredom, several things immediately come to mind.
First, being bored means that I have nothing to do. And what is wrong with that? If I have nothing to do, it means I have finished every project on my to-do-list. To me that is a capital position to be in. It is certainly something to celebrate. And the best way to celebrate is to sit back in my easy chair and do nothing. Sighing very deeply is an extra, if you have the energy.
Boredom also means nothing is broken that I have to get up and try to fix. I’m not a very good handyman. I can fix my morning coffee but that is about as far as it goes. I hate it when something around the house is broken and I have to try to fix it. So, when I have nothing to do, it means everything is working fine.
I would not want this to get around, but boredom also means that my wife has run out of things for me to do. It is not often but when it does, I try to secret my person from her person as much as possible. Because, no matter how much I have completed she always can come up with one more job. I’m tempted to call her Miss One More Job. Although, not to her face.
I really have biblical grounds for this. Jesus gave this invitation. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 KJV.)
And then the apostle Paul wrote, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:9-11 KJV.)
I agree with my friend who often says, “Come apart and rest a while or you will simply come apart.”
Rev. James L. Snyder