And What of Boredom?

Is there something of the human spirit that follows a certain path of the soul, even without direction from Tradition?

I am thinking there must be.

Or, if one prefers, it might be said that the Spirit of God, either overtly or through the "way things are" works to carry us along a certain spiritual and creative way.

Chapter 5 of A Sunlit Absence speaks of the necessity of boredom, noting that it can produce "a posture of release and receptivity" and an ultimate deepening through "creative disintegration."

It goes on to say that the person may experience prayer and solitude as "futile, a great waste of time, that we are going nowhere." This is an important step to deeper prayer, where we "grow accustomed to...boredom and not rely so exclusively on our feelings."

I am all but silenced reading these words. Are they not the same kind of things that took me into a year's journey? One which started with me saying, "I wanted to go to exotic places to jumpstart my creativity. I needed an Annie-Dillard-style trip to the Galapagos. But, quite simply, I was going nowhere." (chapter 1, God in the Yard)

Does not Tradition explain, now after-the-fact, why I also wrote this...

There were days when I would come to the woods and think, what's the point...I'm wasting my time...nothing is happening here...I'm not doing anything.... Who did I think I was sitting out here doing nothing? (Chapter 10, God in the Yard)

Perhaps whether we are talking about prayer and life with God or creativity and a life with others, we are really looking at the same dynamic. We move forward only by going through times of release. We do something by accepting times of nothing.

If we feel bored today, or drawn to do nothing for a while, maybe we are on the right track.

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Blogger David Rupert said...

And boredom isn't always associated with lack of activity. We can be bored and be very busy, but our minds are not engaged -- or disengaged.

I'm often very busy, but am bored because I think my efforts would be better spent elsewhere

Blogger Kathy Robbins said...

But sometimes isn't our unhappiness with our boredom cause us to make changes for the better?

Blogger Kathy Robbins said...

sorry, I meant doesn't

Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

These thoughts add more solace to me in reference to my factory work for a good ministry. It certainly is made up of monotony, even if diverse. Somehow I sense that there is something good about that. Perhaps in how that impacts me, in God's good grace in Jesus.


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