Stop Beating Life into Submission

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Last Sunday, we visited our old church and the preacher talked about the word “boredom” and how it is a relatively new concept in the English language. . . . And that got me thinking.

As a lawyer, husband, and father, I worked hard and stayed busy.  I spent 10, 12, or more hours per day at the office 5-6 days each week.  I woke up at 4 or 5 a.m. so I could manage to get in to the office by 6 or 7 a.m. and hope to leave the office by 6 that evening.

And often I got home with more work to do, which I would trudge through so that I could have dinner with my family and try to engage with my wife and daughters.

Then the weekend arrived and when I wasn’t at the office, I was fixing something or cleaning something or building something or trimming something.  I wanted a swimming pool, but then having one, my wife constantly complained that I would never stop to enjoy it with my family.  I would get in the pool . . . But then while they played, I was more obsessed with cleaning the traps, fishing out bugs or leaves, or even adjusting the pressure valves and jets.

Church on Sunday morning?  Being forced to sit still drove me crazy.  I much preferred when I was asked to teach a class and often daydreamed about preaching myself instead of just taking in the message that was being offered.

In other words:  I. stayed. busy. all. the. time.

And, yet, I was bored.

During any interruption, I could not stand to have “still” time.  I read the news on my phone, surfed Facebook, played Candy Crush or Tetris or Angry Birds, or shopped on Amazon.

How could someone so busy still be so bored?  I don’t know.  Ask yourself the same thing.

But I want to tell you this–I am not so busy anymore.  As a result of my own physical limitations, I just can’t do what I used to do.  That said, I still work hard around my property.  I can be busy.  But I don’t just stay busy.

I am now forced to stop and be still.  If I don’t, some faulty wiring in my brain will shut things down for me so I have no choice.  I have to stop.  I have to look around.  I have to take in what is happening around me . . . or I get to.

I don’t get bored.  Instead, I get filled by stopping and just Being.

I don’t know how to advise you to do that yourself.  It did not come easy to me.  And I know I hope it doesn’t take a brain injury to do it to you like it did me.  But stop, enjoy.  Don’t be so busy.  Don’t get so bored.  Be present.  Enjoy the peace and the chaos.

Let life be.  And savour it; stop trying to beat it into submission.  Just sit back and enjoy the life with which you have been blessed.