Did Jesus Get Bored?

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
(Luke 5:16 NIV11)

Embracing Creative Boredom: Finding Spiritual Refreshment

Have you ever wondered if Jesus experienced boredom? Not the kind of boredom stemming from a lack of purpose, but a deliberate stillness where the mind wanders, and the world seems half-empty. Before we delve further, let's clarify the type of boredom under consideration. This is not the existential void born from a lack of meaning or direction. Instead, it's the intentional pause we create, allowing space for our minds and spirits to find rest. Jesus, I believe, engaged in this kind of creative boredom.

Discovering the Depth of Boredom

Jesus often retreated to solitary places to pray and reflect. He spent nights in prayer, even in the wilderness.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.” (Matthew 4:1–2 NIV11)

It's unlikely that these times were exclusively conversations with the devil; they were more likely moments of introspection whilst consciously in the company of his heavenly Father where creative thoughts were sparked. Consider this: perhaps it was during such periods that Jesus began crafting his parables. I imagine him starting with, "A man was travelling from Mount Carmel to Jerusalem," refining it to “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho”.

Battling the Disappearance of Boredom

In the past, boredom was a natural part of life. Nowadays, we must actively seek it out amid the constant stimuli competing for our attention. We find ourselves bombarded by social media and its ilk, aimed at preventing any moment of disengagement. Boredom, however, has its value – during these quiet times, we can't be sold anything. This very stillness provides a platform for our spirits to tune into the gentle voice of God. Elijah's experience in the cave illustrates this truth – God's voice emerged not in the cacophony but in the silence.

Reviving the Art of Boredom

The modern era offers countless distractions to fill every second of our lives.

“We have forgotten how to be bored. Actually, we are scared of being bored. We make sure that every moment of our lives is filled with some sort of entertainment, email or exercise. Not wanting to sound like an old man, but I can remember walking to school with no phone or personal stereo / Walkman / Disk-man / MP3 player / iPod / iPhone (you can see how we have increased our ability to have entertainment at the touch of a screen). In those days, in allowing my mind to get bored, I actually thought about things. Processed things. Prayed! But now, I always have something to dull the pain of boredom. The flip side to not having ‘boredom’ time is that we don’t have any time to be Interrupted by God. We don’t have moments or minutes for God to nudge us.”

Rediscovering Boredom's Gift

Taking sabbath times for prayer and extended walks, I've come to appreciate the value of boredom. Gradually, a distinct voice emerges, and novel thoughts arise. It's like a clearing of clouds where the warmth of God's presence is felt. In this space, anxieties lose their grip, making way for the rekindling of creativity. New ideas form, solutions emerge, and hope is rekindled.

Antidote to Unhealthy Boredom

This kind of creative boredom serves as an antidote to unhealthy monotony.

“You have no reason to be bored – not in God’s world. We live in a world with an excess of beauty, a redundancy of beauty. Think about a leaf. Every leaf is unique. God could have saved a lot of bother. He could have made a world in which leaves were like plastic cups, punched out to the same design. But every leaf is handmade. And every leaf is a thing of exquisite beauty.”

Jesus' human experience, characterised by a connection to God's voice and creative spark, underscores the significance of intentional boredom in nurturing a healthy human condition.

A Unique Invitation

I can't prove that Jesus experienced boredom, but I know he embraced God's voice, exhibited creativity, and lived as a human. Deliberate boredom, a component of human well-being, invites us to pause and ponder. Here's an unusual suggestion: allow yourself to be bored. Discover the richness that emerges from moments of quietude. Share your thoughts and experiences if you give it a try.

May you be blessed on this journey of embracing creative boredom.

God bless,