My kids have learned not to say, "Mom, I'm bored."
They got one of two responses from me.
1) "I can give you some cleaning jobs."
2) "Being bored is a blessing of childhood. Enjoy it while you can. When you grow up, there will be times you wish you could be bored."
They obviously didn't jump at the cleaning jobs.
They don't want to hear being bored is a blessing.
I've told them that I did some of my best thinking when I was bored, lying in the back of our station wagon, late at night, staring off at the Milky Way as my parents drove us across the country. (No, we didn't know how important seat belts were back then.)
They don't want to hear that lecture again.
But what I also know, as a parent, is that being bored can lead to creativity. And fun they wouldn't have thought of otherwise.
I miss that in my life at times.
Staring at the clouds.
Jumping off fences.
See my son being a kid?
He was walking on this fence while I snapped shots of some morning glories.
If we had had electronics in the car, he probably would have been playing with that instead.
But he had fun just being a kid. Even if it seemed boring at the time.
But now that he's had fun walking the fence, he doesn't mind if I stop here for photos. He even hams it up for me taking his picture.
So what is it about being bored that can be a blessing?
For me, at least, I can think more clearly. There aren't so many distractions. I can ponder great things - like life, or God.
As an adult though, I have so many responsibilities that it's hard to ever have down time where guilt isn't a problem. You know, the..."You really should be getting something done" kind of guilt. Because of that, I rarely ever feel bored.
Although one time, several years ago, I shared with my Sunday school class that I would give so much just to be bored for 10 minutes. God smiled when he heard me say that.
I arrived home before all of my family, only to figure out that I was locked out of my house. Completely.
Since I was in heels and a skirt, I couldn't even putter around the yard. As I lay on my back deck looking up at the sky, I realized God gave me my wish. I was bored! And, it ended up being 20 minutes long!
With everything going on in life right now, I need to be bored for a bit.
But since I'm not locked out of my house today, I've decided to create a 20 minute window where I just go lie on my deck and talk to God. And listen.
To try to see the bigger picture of why everything is happening the way it is.
To ask God what he's trying to teach me.
How he's using what I'm going through.
I'm going to create a little boredom in my life.
To be a wide-eyed kid again.
To stare at the sky.
Praying that you find a few moments today to just talk with God.
To look up into the sky.
Maybe even, to be bored for a bit.