Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in its lid. He placed it beside the altar, on the right side as one enters the temple of the Lord. The priests who guarded the entrance put into the chest all the money that was brought to the temple of the Lord.
- 2 Kings 12:9
“The horror of the Same Old Thing is one of the most valuable passions we have produced in the human heart — an endless source of heresies in religion, folly in counsel, infidelity in marriage and inconstancy in friendship.”
- C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
For a while, our middle grandson, our younger son’s oldest, would constantly say, “I’m bored.”
That got me to thinking. Is the word ‘bored’ in the Bible? Ah, yes, in 2 Kings, the Scripture above, but not in the context of boredom. Think drilling a hole instead. By the way, ‘boring’ and ‘boredom’ have not place in the Bible. We are talking NIV here. I guess Biblical characters had better things to do than to be bored.
As for the Lewis quote: Remember that Screwtape is a senior devil and he is writing to Wormwood, his nephew, a junior devil. In this fictional tale, Wormwood is following Screwtape’s suggestions to prevent his ‘patient’ from being saved or at least be ineffective in Christian growth. As a result, you need to look at the opposite in many cases when reading quotes from this book.
With the opposite in mind, the “Same Old Thing” could be considered boredom and that is the devil’s playground. All sorts of bad things hop into our minds when we are bored.
And oh, there is so much boredom today. We have taken our right to pursue happiness to mean that we must be entertained 100% of the time. The television is always on but is anyone watching? The tablet, computer, and smartphones are on, and as soon as the game is won and the electronic device takes more than three seconds to load the next screen, we are B-O-R-E-D!!!!
Really? Is that all it takes?
Let’s say you are a very social person, an extrovert, but you don’t want to go out that day. You get on the phone and call a family member. You talk for thirty minutes. You talk to another family member for fifteen minutes. Since you had been playing a game prior to the calls, the smartphone is low on battery. You turn off the phone and hook it up to the charger. Before the charger has juiced up your phone halfway, you lament, “No one wants to talk to me!” No one? You just talked to two family members an hour ago. Do we always jump from ‘rarely’ to ‘all the time’ just to amplify our suffering? Did you notice that I seem to ‘always’ use ‘always’ when it is more often true to state ‘seldom’ or ‘occasionally?’
But I know one person who wants to talk to you. It’s Jesus. He’s been there the whole time.
Look at the C. S. Lewis quote from Satan’s point of view. As Screwtape refers to Satan, our Father Below. “The horror of the Same Old Thing is one of the most valuable passions we have produced in the human heart — an endless source of heresies in religion, folly in counsel, infidelity in marriage and inconstancy in friendship.”
When we already have the television on, someone calling on the phone, a computer game in progress, and actual human beings residing in the same house – all demanding our attention, Satan throws in “the Same Old Thing fears” to make us bored with all of that. Why?
I just mentioned it. Jesus wants to talk, and Satan ensures that we are too busy to listen, because the world is very noisy and very demanding.
My wife and I are taking an unplugged day, past tense by the time this is posted. Sure, the phones will be on in case someone really needs to talk to us, and I will turn on the computer beforehand and that night to check e-mails and respond to any blog comments. But, for the bulk of the day, we plan to drive into downtown Pittsburgh. We’ll shop at the Strip District as long as our legs will hold out. We’ll dine at a nice restaurant – plenty there. Maybe we will take in a museum. Then, hopefully, we’ll get out of downtown before the afternoon rush hits. We might even do more shopping on the way home, outside the restricted confines of the inner city and the tunnels that bottleneck the exiting thereof. Then again, a nap may be more important about then.
I think we’ll have to spend some Bible study and prayer time before we start. We will need our spiritual batteries charged. After all, we’ll be busy – busy hardly doing anything at all.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.