We begin a sermon series entitled Blue Christmas. This morning’s message will focus on boredom. Are your times of boredom meant for more?
“From the end of the earth I call; my heart is faint.”
Psalm 61:3, NIV
“[Boredom] represents pure, undiluted time in all its repetitive, redundant, monotonous splendor… [it] is an invasion of time into your set of values. It puts your existence into perspective, the net result of which is… humility."
Joseph Brodsky, In Praise of Boredom, in Kathleen Norris, Acedia and Me
“Man finds nothing so intolerable as to be in a state of complete rest, without passions, without occupation, without diversion, without effort. Then he faces his nullity, loneliness, inadequacy, dependence, helplessness, emptiness. And at once there well up from the depths of his soul boredom, gloom, depression, chagrin, resentment, despair."
Mathematician and Physicist, Blaise Pascal, Pensees, page 622, in Norris
“I denied myself nothing my eyes desired: I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and with I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind: nothing was gained under the sun.”
Ecclesiastes 2:10-11, NIV
"They shared a vast boredom; they were terrified of nothing happening. Vinnie's haplessness came from a sort of despair, a conviction that no one would care for her… While Owen's case was perhaps more serious. In the absence of distractions he foundered… That was why he put up with a way of life that would have exhausted many men of his age, why he pursued this fantasy of endless mobility, and less availability… He had the fullest diary of anyone I have ever known… He feared permanence."
Anita Bruckner, Brief Lives, page 317, Kathleen Norris
“The last and final word is this: Fear God.
Do what he tells you. And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.”
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, NIV