Earlier this year I went through a season of boredom and lethargy, that stopped me in my tracks. Attempting to locate some sense of purpose in life was like grasping the wind. Oddly enough, in my times of reading Scripture I sensed a “connect” with God, but as soon as I emerged from the place of prayer, it was like stepping into a frozen climate. There were no marriage issues; work environment was okay; spending time with grandkids was great; but I just felt “flatlined” most of the time. I even thought it might simply be a life transition, never having had to navigate the terrain of being old enough to receive Medicare! I tried everything I could to frame my experience, to make it more manageable. My conclusion – the sense of spiritual boredom is a hurdle that every Christian will encounter.
I have found that spiritual boredom is primarily a lack of emotion that emanates from a lack of focus. When the disciples were first encountered by Jesus, there was only one option – leave everything and follow this Man. There was a singular focus. Nothing else mattered except to connect their hearts to Christ. King David felt a similar emotion, hundreds of years prior: “One thing I have asked of the Lord, and that I will seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, To gaze upon the beauty [the delightful loveliness and majestic grandeur] of the Lord And to meditate in His temple.” (Ps.27:4, AMP) True, David lost his focus, drifted into spiritual boredom and unbridled lust, caught up with the forbidden beauty of another man’s wife. That’s why the “one thing” must always be the one thing. Thankfully, he found restoration, even as we do when we drift off course, hopefully not as far as he drifted.
It really boils down to a matter of discernment for the season that you’re in. It may be a day, a week, a month, or a year even! Prayerfully inquire if you’ve lost your focus. Have your spiritual disciplines waned? Are you reading the Scripture, taking time for stillness, fasting every now and then? Being focused is aiming your attention and concentration upon something. It’s usually fairly straightforward whether or not focus is the issue. It’s also needful for us to clarify that what we perceive as spiritual boredom is not all bad. Unabated feelings of excitement is not anyone’s norm. In reality, a skewed view of what excitement is, makes us vulnerable to thinking that we have a dull and boring life or marriage.
There are ebbs and flows to our union with Christ and I have concluded that my need to exert effort in staying focused is coupled with God’s choices on how best to increase my hunger for Him. Spiritual boredom in my world, may be one of the most exciting prospects in God’s world, for the advancement of His kingdom in my life. The glory of never ending ascension into new spiritual heights requires the grace to begin from what may be a humble and lowly starting place.
This is the road most traveled in the Christian journey – all things becoming new, again.