Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Boredom's Song

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me; And lead me in the everlasting way. 

Psalm 139: 23-24

My children learned early on not to cast the phrase "I'm bored" in my presence. My answer was always, "Boredom is a lack of imagination on your part." My children never did incline their hearts to liking this response. What I really desired for them was to embrace boredom as an opportunity to turn inward and dream, contemplate, and struggle with life's grueling questions. 

People today flee boredom's song. Internet, entertainment, prescriptive and non-prescriptive relief, the drowning sounds of non-stop conversations and music, and the ongoing, 24/7 Facebook entries keeps one from feeling what boredom requires-answers. 

Boredom unveils our heart's cry. It is the soul's song for a more expansive view of God. Quenching boredom stifles our understanding of God and ultimately cast a blanket over the answers we desperately need. Who am I? What is this pain I feel? Will I ever feel whole again? Am I loved or even lovable? Is there a God, and if there is, what is He like? It is easier to flee these questions that boredom asks than to feel the pain of being searched by boredom's interrogative process. 

The song of boredom is instructive. It teaches us how to filter life's events. It provides a foundation to build meaningful purpose upon. Boredom cries out like the psalmist to search our hearts and know our anxious thoughts. It purges our responses that inflict pain upon those we love. Boredom demands an audience, but unfortunately we have demanded it to take a permanent leave of absence. 

The next time boredom strikes its note, lend it an ear. Turn your heart to it and relent to it as the schoolmaster that it is. You will not regret the momentum and joy it rewards and provides to its audience. Today, listen and learn the prose of boredom's song. 

Today, Lord, I submit to boredom's song. "Search me and know my heart." Teach me how to live with meaning and purpose as I learn to surrender to the pain boredom unveils. Lead me in the everlasting way as I submit to the lessons that boredom has to teach. In Jesus' name, amen.  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dropping the F-Bomb

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

1 John 1:9

Our society has become desensitized to coarse language and crude speech. Although we find such language distasteful at times, we no longer shudder when it is spoken. In recent weeks, the one I hear most often is the f-bomb. I even hear children dropping the f-bomb as if it were part of their grammar lesson taught in school. 

There is, however, another F-bomb that I would like to drop. It is forgiveness. Like the other f-bomb, this one is both given and received. Society's f-bomb is meant to harm and destroy the recipient, but the F-bomb of forgiveness releases a captive soul and frees both the sender and recipient from bitterness, anger, and distress. Forgiveness allows each person the freedom to become who God created them to be, while unforgiveness keeps us stuck. 

There is a saying that unforgiveness is a pill we swallow while we wait for the other person to die. The problem with this is that we were the ones who swallowed the pill, and it will be us who die and not the one we are embittered towards. Offering and receiving the F-bomb is our only cure for our imprisoned and dying soul that anger and bitterness locked in. 

Today, drop the F-bomb at the feet of someone who needs to hear "I forgive you." Additionally, receive the F-bomb from a Savior who is faithful to forgive us. When we receive this F-bomb we are no longer defined by our past or by our mistakes, but by a perfect God who gives us new life in Christ and promises a new destination-Heaven. That is one F-bomb I do not mind hearing.

Father, today, I receive the forgiveness that only a perfect God can grant. Also, I forgive those who have harmed me. Remind me that others are like myself, forgetful, thoughtless, needy, insensitive,  and emotionally imperfect. When I receive or extend forgiveness, I am free to live the life you have designed. Today, I receive and give forgiveness, amen.