I excitedly accepted the invitation to write this article. However, in hindsight, I wonder if I am the best person to address the topic. With a wife and four young kids, a vocational calling to pastoral ministry, and a doctoral program—each requiring a portion of my finite time—I can honestly say that boredom is not a frequent experience of mine! Within a full life that stretches the seams of each day, I occasionally wonder, “If I had more time, what would I do?” Perhaps when my doctorate is completed, I will have margin for golf!

Considering how one might invest additional time is somewhat like dreaming about winning the lottery. It is fun because it provides an imaginative escape from the limits that seemingly constrain our lives. Because these limits add stress to daily life, we assume that their removal will increase our feelings of satisfaction. However, as fun as this dreaming is, it misses the mark. The purpose of our lives is not found in the absence of what confines; our divine purpose is discovered and grows within these constraints.

After years of dreaming about what one could do with unstructured free time, the day eventually comes where it abounds. We either become empty nesters or former professionals who graduate to retirement. Some of us will be eager to travel and recreate; others may keep looking over their shoulders for one last glance of their darkened office. Amidst these transitions, some are surprised to experience feelings of dissatisfaction, even depression, or a lost sense of the importance of being needed and purposeful.

The truth is that purpose is found through the faithful pursuit of God within relationships, vocation, and education.

Sleepless nights of tending to children who have awakened with fevers provide the opportunity to love with the sacrificial love of Christ. Long and difficult days in the office are not merely about meeting an arbitrary bottom line; they contribute to providing an environment where a community can thrive. Through faith in Christ, the constraints of life provide a sense of purpose because God has created humanity to find satisfaction in their toil. So, when the days of family and career wind down, the experience of the loss of meaningful activity can lead to… well, boredom.

I recently heard a beloved pastor (whom you know well!) articulate that there are people who crassly suggest that Florida is where people go to die. He reframed this misconception by saying, “I believe that people come here to truly live, and that’s why I am so passionate about connecting people to volunteering and service where they can discover their God-given purpose.”

The battle against boredom is fought by enlisting in God’s service and  (re)discovering the purposes for which God made us. If certain aspects of our lives have concluded and we find ourselves in transition, God will provide a new season to follow Him into the world.

One way to fight boredom may be to look at the relationships, experiences, and educational opportunities God has given us. Each of us has talents and capacities to cultivate and to serve the world through work. Planted in relationships that give meaning to our lives, our service to God is often expressed in our relationships with others.

God has provided us with minds to continue to develop through discipleship, study, and prayer. Whatever the current season of your life, can you be drawn deeper into your relationship with your Savior? Our relationships, capabilities, and knowledge provide a structure for meaningful action, and, like a garden trellis, our spiritual life grows and develops around these structures.

The process of battling boredom is about finding a structure to build upon and to engage in meaningful activity. The faith community can provide Christian relationships, volunteer opportunities, and discipleship by which a learning Christian becomes a growing Christian. Each of these not only battles boredom, but they are a part of stewarding the time and talents God has entrusted to us. They remind us that our ultimate end is to glorify God in every season of life. As long as we are breathing, God is not done with us. So we have no time to be bored… and all the time of eternity to pursue God in love.

by Pastor Brad Rogers