Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Stacy Averette

Sometimes I feel bored and restless. Do you ever feel that way? I’ve shocked myself by saying, “I’m bored,” out loud a few times lately.  I don’t like the feeling and I certainly don’t like saying it out loud. If you’ve ever felt bored and restless then maybe what I’m going to share will help you in some way.

Frederick Buechner said “You can be bored by virtually anything if you put your mind to it, or choose not to. You can yawn your way through Don Giovanni or a trip to the Grand Canyon or an afternoon with your dearest friend or a sunset. There are doubtless those who nodded off at the coronation of Napoleon or the trial of Joan of Arc or when Shakespear appeared at the Globe in Hamlet or Lincoln delivered himself of a few remarks at Gettysburg. The odds are that the Sermon on the Mount had more than a few of the congregation twitchy and glassy-eyed.

To be bored, he said, is to turn down cold whatever life happens to be handing you at the moment. It is to cast a jaundiced eye at life in general including most of all your own life. You feel nothing is worth getting excited about because you are yourself not worth getting excited about.

To be bored is a way of making the least of things you often have a sneaking suspicion you need the most.

What A Season of Boredom Has Taught Me

  • I’m learning that I can feel bored even though I have plenty of things to keep me busy. There are many, many things on my to-do list.
  • I’m learning that when I admit to feeling bored, I feel ashamed. I think it’s because of my upbringing and the strong work ethic that was instilled in me. Saying, “I’m bored” feels like a character flaw.
  • I’m learning that boredom is usually a symptom of a deeper problem. I’m learning to sit with my boredom long enough to discern what’s really going on in my head and heart.
  • I’m learning that being still with my feelings is a challenge, especially when I feel bored. My tendency is to engage in a mind-numbing activity like watching TV or scrolling through social media to avoid feeling the feeling.
  • I’m learning that social media and TV feed my feelings of boredom and I feel agitated and even more restless.
  • I’m learning that I don’t always know exactly what’s going on in my head and heart. Sometimes I can’t pinpoint why I’m feeling the way I do even if I sit with my thoughts and feelings.
  • I’m learning that when I can’t fix it immediately I feel frustrated and hopeless. I feel stuck. And I conclude that there’s something wrong with me.
  • I’m learning that feeling stuck and hopeless is usually a sign that I’m depending too much on myself and not enough on God; and that I’m focusing on results and not obedience.
  • I’m learning to talk to God openly and honestly. I tell Him what I’m thinking and feeling just like I would a best friend—no churchy words. Just me and my friend, Jesus, having a conversation.
  • I’m learning that He knows me better than anyone else in the whole world. He loves me more than anyone else in the whole world loves me. He knows exactly what I need and is ready and willing to provide.
  • I’m learning that what I think is the #1 task on my to-do list isn’t always God’s priority for me at the moment.

After All These Years, I’m Still Learning

As I wrote the words above a little voice in my head said, “Stacy, you shouldn’t say I’m learning but instead say I have learned. You don’t want people to think . . .”

Friend, I shut down those thoughts immediately with the truth. I AM LEARNING! Oh! I have learned many of these things before but I’m still learning because Jesus is still teaching me! What a blessing! I plan to keep learning until I’m transported from this life to the next.

So much of what we think and feel and experience in this life causes us to feel discouraged and hopeless. And that’s exactly where The Enemy wants us. Remember this:

  1. He is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
  2. He has come to steal, kill, and destroy our very life! (John 10:10)

But Jesus has come and given us His life so that we can live abundantly. (John 10:10) Yes! Even in the midst of discouragement, hopelessness, and boredom Jesus is our abundant life.

This season of boredom has taught me that there’s nothing we think or feel that is beyond the care and concern of our friend, Jesus! In my boredom, I cried out to him and asked for understanding and help. And guess what?! He responded!

He showed me that I was looking for things to satisfy when only He can truly satisfy. I was striving and pursuing many things—good and noble things—expecting them to fill my deepest need.

My deepest need is to be loved and feel significant, to know that my life matters.

We might feel loved by family and friends and find significance in our work, but if we don’t know and experience the love of God and find meaning and purpose in Him, we’ll miss out on the fullness and joy of this life.

Knowing and experiencing God is our greatest purpose and you might be surprised at the ordinary things in life that God will use to help you know and experience him.

Back to the Basics

When we feel discouraged I think our tendency as humans is to do something. We’ll add an activity or attempt to entertain ourselves in order to feel better.

When I was young and made the mistake of saying, “I’m bored,” my parents would hand me a broom or a rake or a shovel. They always had a solution to my boredom. I did the same to my kids.

God often responds differently. He knows what my soul needs most and it’s usually not another dreaded task or activity or project that needs to be checked off my list. God’s not interested in busywork!

During this season I’ve experienced God asking me to let go of some things to make more room for Him. He’s invited me to let go of the noise, the perfectionism, and the striving. And I’ve learned that the more I let go, the more I gain. Or maybe it’s that I gain more of what matters most.

I pride myself on living a fairly simple life but God always has a gentle way of showing me the clutter I don’t see. I have blind spots when it comes to my home, my schedule, and my life. You know, God sees it all.

Here are a few of the ways God has responded when I’ve said, “I’m bored.”

  • Exercise — God reminded me that as a teenager I enjoyed walking and jogging. I reminded him that I’m a lot heavier now and out of shape. He reminded me that exercise isn’t a punishment for gaining weight or overeating but an activity He gave me to enjoy and celebrate the body He’s created and to spend time with Him. To be honest, I’d forgotten how to enjoy it and dreaded starting again so I asked for his help. Yes, I asked for God’s help with my exercise. He was glad I asked and He promptly helped. I found an app that helps me go slow. He encouraged me to run alone because that is what I used to do when I enjoyed running. Eric and I go the trail together but we both prefer to run alone. God also challenged me not to listen to music while I run. What?! I have to admit that listening to music was a way to distract myself from how winded and out of shape I felt. But God was inviting me to pay attention to more important things. I run with one earbud in to hear the occasional prompts from the app. This allows me to also hear the birds in the trees, my feet pounding the pavement, and my breathing. I’m enjoying exercise again and I feel God cheering me on because I invited Him into my struggle. He speaks to me about my list, my worries, and His plans for my life.
  • Yardwork — God reminded me that I love yard work, digging in the dirt, being outside. There was a time in my life when I stayed outdoors all the time and was happy about it. But that season of life passed and I spent most days in a classroom, then an office, then at home. As a mom, I spent more time outside but still worked mostly inside keeping house. Our yard has gotten the bare minimum of attention for years and it shows. During the pandemic-shutdown-stay-at-home order last year God reminded me how much I love yard work and growing things and being outside. I reminded him that flowers and shrubs are expensive and also that I’m a mosquito magnet. He reminded me that the goal wasn’t Pinterest perfection and to simply use bug spray. I probably rolled my eyes and sighed heavily but I knew He was right. So we started working a little in our yard again. We bought several fruit trees on clearance at the end of the season last year and they’re bearing fruit already! Eric mows and I plant and prune and pull weeds. We love to walk around the yard and think about our next small, relatively inexpensive, DIY project. The smell of dirt and leaf mold and honeysuckle are some of my favorite smells. Seeing daddy’s rose bush thrive and grandma’s rose bush (that I thought I’d killed) leafy green and ready to bloom again makes me happy. Sometimes it feels like there’s more work to be done than we’ll ever finish but the Father reminds me that finished perfection isn’t the point. Yardwork and gardening are ordinary ways to enjoy His presence. I needed that reminder because I tend to have a gold star mentality about work and play. I focus too much on results and sometimes miss the joy in the journey. Results are important but God is reminding me over and over through every trial that the one thing that is needful is to know and experience Him every moment.
  • Writing God reminded me that I used to long for time to write in my own voice and share my adventures with Him. I reminded Him that there’s a right way and a wrong way to write blog posts and books and according to the experts on the internet I was doing it the wrong way. Then He reminded me that He invented the internet and created me and gave me the desire and the ability to write and He’s the reason I have anything good to say anyway so I can stop making excuses and write. So I’m writing and sharing my heart the way I did when I started blogging many years ago. The time I spend in His Word and the way He speaks when I’m running and doing yard work all play a role in how I write and the testimony I’m able to give here. I’ve been reminded that I”m called to be obedient to God and obedience often requires that I lay aside my need for gold stars, affirmation, and worldly success.

Exercise, yardwork, and writing may not be your thing but He knows you better than anyone else knows you, and He will guide you according to your need and His plan for your life!

You and Your Need

Friend, your life experiences are probably different from mine but God desires a personal relationship with us all! He created us for His purpose and pleasure and He wants us to experience the abundant life in Him.

Whether you feel bored and restless or overwhelmed by everything (I can feel both on the same day!), God cares about you and your life.

God is not some angry person irritated by your need. He doesn’t roll His eyes and sigh deeply when you ask for His help. HE LOVES YOU. HE DELIGHTS IN HELPING YOU.

More than anything, this season of feeling bored and restless has reminded me that Jesus is all I really need and everything else—work, play, relationships, trials, grief, insecurity—is an opportunity and an invitation to know Him better and love Him more.

I promised you a simple way to get unstuck. Here it is: take every thought and feeling that’s troubling you and share it with Jesus. Ask for His perspective on your life and for His help navigating through it. He’s waiting to hear from you!


One thought on “What I’ve Learned Through a Season of Boredom”

  1. I haven’t felt bored lately, but your thoughts on boredom pressed me to think about why going to work and having nothing to do while getting paid for it is problematic for me. I guess it’s caused by some of the same issues. I love you, my friend, and the wisdom you share here.

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