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The Wonder of Boredom

He knew things he wasn’t allowed to talk about. Bound now by a law of silence he lived with the memory of being caught up into what he called “the third heaven” where he says he heard things that a man is not allowed to repeat.

Am wondering whether he was allowed to see anything.

He didn’t say. In fact, the Apostle Paul doesn’t even directly say that he had had this experience himself. But by the way he recounted it in his second letter to the Corinthians it’s evident that the Apostle Paul was, himself, writing with a memory of heaven that was so inexpressibly wonderful that it helped to explain a painful problem that kept bringing him to his knees (2Cor 12:1-9).

More importantly, it may help to explain something of the awareness that motivated Paul to endure countless problems in order to get the message and wisdom of Christ to as many as possible (2Cor 12:10).

By contrast, there was an assistant to the prophet Elisha who had a similar vision of earth (but without the requirement of silence). Seeing the armies of the Syrians surrounding their  city and ready to take them, the young man came to Elisha and, in an apparent panic, asked the prophet what they were going to do.

Am guessing you may know the story told in 2 Kings chapter 6. Elisha responded with the amazing words, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2Kings 6:16).

Then Elisha prayed and asked the Lord to open the eyes of his servant and the text says, “Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (v 17). Seeing the armies of the Lord that were protecting them…the rest is history.

What if something similar happened to us? What if for a few minutes we were allowed to see into heaven, or the spiritual angels and demons around us, or the real wonder of the almost invisible people around us, or the wonder of a housefly, a dog, or the miracles of provision and protection that enable us to take the next breath… or to do the simplest– or most difficult– detail of the will of God for us today.

If we could only see a tiny fraction of what God has done and is doing in and around us to make our existence possible, am quite sure that we would either rise to our feet in complete attention to the Lord or, more likely, fall helplessly on our face before him.

The 19th century German writer and philosopher Goethe is quoted as saying that a person “can stand almost anything except a succession of ordinary days”

I’m guessing that if we could only see in and around us, we would realize there is no such thing… as “an ordinary day.”

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23 Responses to “The Wonder of Boredom”

  1. chfranke says:

    There are many of your readers here who have seen and can see the angels and demons; saintly people who are aware of God working in their lives every minute and are in awe of being in touch with the creator of the universe; a place so vast the mind reals from His majesty. They see things that I can barely imagine now but in time and with study I hope to see as well.
    What a glorious world we live in. At the same time it is horrible. Pain and want is everywhere. Wars erupt for no reason. Senseless killings happen next door. There is no where to hide except in the arms of the Lord Jesus.
    Thanks for today’s post. I will be looking forward to reading the comments it will evoke in your readers.

  2. Ted M. Gossard says:

    Great thoughts here.

    Yes, the more we understand the more we realize just how little we really know, and the more we can begin to appreciate the greatness and grandeur of our God.

  3. SFDBWV says:

    Many among us have had very personal epiphanies. Each persons relationship with God being, that only God is able to personaly address the particular supernatural encounter that fills the need of the moment.

    Little glimpses through the veil that encourages us and strengthens us. As Paul stated “we see through a glass darkly”. But we do see.

    So many distractions today for people to see or hear. That we aren’t listening, or in prayer long enough to hear, that still small voice with in us….that sometimes must shouts at us to get our attention.

    Balaam could not see the angel, but the donkey he was riding could. Was it because the donkey was smarter than Balaam? Or because the donkey isn’t burdened with every other thought and distraction around him as Balaam and I might say, we, are.

    How many among us raise an eyebrow and think another person “strange” because they have claimed to have had supernatural experiances?

    God wants me to walk in faith, but he is also my shepherd. Sheep are not blind but follow their shepherd.

    There are times when I can sense the strength of God in and around me, there are times I can’t.

    There have also been times in my life when I longed for an “ordinary day”.

  4. vremmers says:

    Thanks for the thoughts,

    Sometimes you want to share the Glory you have experienced even with you fellow believers or even ones closer, but the words are not there. To really see with your mind and heart the glorious LOVE that our Lord is and has and is extending to us almost makes you explode inside. I have experienced an explosion of something I can’nt discribe, but those whom experienced it know. I have come to realize that through these experiences my focus on Christ is intensifided and the wanting in me to be in the spot light or recieve credit is reducing. I don’t understand the pain all around me but I are coming to know that the Love of Christ is so much more. This life is for Gods Glory not mind But He has chosen for us to experience it with Him.

    Thanks Again

  5. refump says:

    I am at a time in my life where I am more like the assistant to the prophet Elisha than I would like to admit & it is very frustrating. “Adversity has introduced me to myself” & I can’t seem to really trust that “those who are with us are more than those who are with them”. I know that the Lord is allowing the adversity in my life to point out how little I really do trust Him & ultimately my faith will grow out of this but it is quite painful to go through on so many levels. Pray that God will open my eyes of my heart that I may Him. I don’t know whether to rise to my feet in complete attention to the Lord or fall helplessly on my face before Him. I have a hunch I will do both.

  6. carlj says:

    Your topic on boredom is very thought provoking. I spend time looking at my activities and wondering how much of my time is being spent for “Heavens sake” or for eternity.

    So often I fix my gaze on what is taking place immediately in front of me and around me, and as a result, I wonder if I risk limiting my understanding and appreciation of the impact I have on this world and my involvement within the overall plan of GOD. What if I am living out an unfolding drama where GOD’s plan involves my individual life to participate in HIS purpose that may not be revealed to me until much later?

    If so, I wonder if that would change my attitude about my feelings of insignificance, obscurity, or boredom? What if at this very moment while I am going about what I feel is an insignificant life without adventure, GOD is using me as a participant in a tremendous story? How would knowing that GOD is using my life at this very moment affect my attitude? And, would that concept alter my attitude toward an insignificant, obscure, or boring life?

  7. ttl7praz says:

    Good morning everyone! My take on the subject matter for today is a bit different. For quite some time I struggled with real meaning of not only my but others prayers who usually somewhere in the first part thank God for waking them (me) up this morning and starting their way to wherever they were when the prayer commenced (usually to church). It really got me to thinking first if I didnt wake up and for those Christians who didnt “wake up” is this necessarily a bad thing? Did not Paul mention that absence from the body is presence with the Lord? Then I for some time went through a what I called an “Ecclesiastes” period where I felt that my existence was rather mundane and for the most part most of my daily activities were repetitively meaningless and worth nothing. It got so bad at one point that I actually felt guilty thanking God for waking me up this morning because the back of my mind was saying “for what”? Then one day not too long ago I too had an epiphany and God opened my eyes and gave me a purpose for waking up every morning and being appreciative for it. Now when I say my morning prayer I thank God for waking me up so I have another opportunity to first serve Him and then to serve others. Now once again I feel I have a purpose to my seemingly mundane daily routine and this is something I can thank God for on a daily basis until He takes me home. Only God has the awesome capability to change something that seems ordinary into something that turns out to be extraordinary. Thanks be to God!

  8. poohpity says:

    I am going through the process of learning to rejoice in my infirmities, my weakness. I have to say I have still not learned the lesson because I am not rejoicing but complaining. I understand that I will stay in this place until I can lift my head and be grateful for the unseen army that surrounds and thankful that God has already taken care of it ALL. The process is tough because I choose to make it that way. I know that one day I will be able to experience life on a steady move upward rather than a roller coaster ride of up and downs. I look so forward to that time when I can comfortably rest in His care and it would be nice if I could enjoy the path there instead of dreading it.

    At this time I have alienated my family and I feel alone in this very big world only to realize with this topic, in this quite place the Lord is trying to let me know that I am not alone. He is right here with me and will give me everything, EVERYTHING that is needed to get through this season of life. I just wasn’t listening or understanding but I think it is finally getting through. The Son is peeking through the clouds of despair.

  9. HEY REV says:

    Hello all:

    Many yrs ago the Lord spoke to me a “it’s ME speaking” voice. You know that you know.
    At that time for some reason I asked God if I could get to see as much of heaven (as I understood it at that time)that He would allow me to see.I have never forgottn that and never will. So far I have not had a very strong epiphany like others. But I can say at this point I could share some (but I won’t for space & time)that most of you reading this would accept. If I told this in a group of others, it would come accross
    I’m braging. So I say nothing untill the subject comes up in a very honest and open discussion.
    When we sare things like this to some, they feel like “wow I must be copped liver or something to the Lord. I don’t have, hear, see, feel what you do. How come”
    But Praise God I can talk about it now because most of you understand. For quite a long time now, I have many:
    with my Lord. I can say Amen to all of you who have had, and will have, because God is not a respecter of persons. He so much wants us to know about Him than we believe.
    There is someone reading all of these blogs whose heart is bursting to have this happen to them. Let me assure you that you will. God loves to grant those desires of your heart that line up with His, as you delight in Him (Ps. 37:4)(remember it says DELIGHT)

    Thanks Mart, as God reads these (which He knew before we wrote anyway) it please’s His heart to see it written. (Just as His word was written, in His 66 books) and used you again to help us to open our hearts.

    Love to all: Hey Rev

  10. sjd says:

    I have not had the privilege of seeing or hearing of the third heaven first hand, nor have I seen heaven open up as Stephen did, nor seen the armies of the LORD that Elisha’s assistant saw.

    But I am excited for what God is revealing in His Word. This living Word of God is still that. Maybe some day I might have a vision that others have had. I won’t refuse it, yet I am learning to enjoy the Words that proceed out of the mouth of God, and am enjoying His Life within me.

    Right now I am fascinated with our Lord’s desire for His bride, the Church. I do not understand why God would love us so, yet He does.

    Before the foundation of the world He has chosen us. Now He is preparing us and a place for us to live. He is returning for His bride, and the marriage will take place.

    I am enjoying looking at the parallels of the first and second Adam and the first Eve and the Church, which appears to be the “second Eve”. We, the Church are the mystery that has been hidden for ages.

    This is not some ordinary story. No ordinary days!

    We have an amazing God that has chosen us to be part of His story! Being part of that story is more than I can comprehend. Learning of Him and His plan in His Word is where I need to be. I am going to get back to it.

    Pooh, you are not alone. I am praying for you. Thankful that you are seeing the Son shine through!

  11. systemX says:


    I am almost in a similar situation with you.. I am still dwelling in the past mistakes I have made and still am fighting with God indirectly.. most of the time, I miss out on that invisible army that God has around us, and forget that God has made a lot of things possible for us to exist..

    I feel that sometimes I let my human mind takeover my emotions and then I fall back into the same hole I almost got out off. Then after reading some comments on the blog here, i get back on track with God.. its a painful process for me, but I pray you will overcome it with God one day.

  12. SFDBWV says:

    Just a thought. For the most part all of the main characters throughout the Bible, lived normal routine lives. Intersected for only brief moments with the Lord.

    It is in thoes brief moments we have recorded for us the history of man and God.

    Most all of us live out what we would think of as boring lives. But we all have had moments with God. It is in thoes moments that we are encouraged, strengthed and guided.

    We all want to be in constant fellowship with God. So also does God want that personal relationship with us. So He provided a way.

    Because of His divine plan and the life of Jesus of Nazareth, we now have the Holy Spirit with us. A fellowship with God.

    The battle is always on going and will not end until the end of the age. Our old self will be struggling to control our thoughts and lives. Our new nature knit to the Spirit directing us to listen rather to Him than to our old sinful self.

    Every day the battle is new, every day the victory is belongs to the Lord.

    If we could indeed see into that spirit world Jesus spoke of, we would see the battle that rages every day for the spirit of man.
    Prayer being the fuel that feeds the agents God sends to fight for us.

  13. daisymarygoldr says:

    This topic reminds me of the inability of the 2 disciples to see and recognize Jesus on the road to Emmaus. Confused by the events of Jerusalem over the last several days, the disciples had given up… on the empty tomb of Jesus. Spiritually they had decided to drift away from faith… and were headed away from Jerusalem.

    Sometimes, pain and suffering will turn our eyes away from the open vision of heaven and the multitude of angelic hosts. Blinded by our earthly grief and joys, we may fail to behold the beauty of spiritual wonders. In order to open their eyes of understanding, Jesus led the disciples through a crash course on-the-road tutorial of the scriptures.

    When the disciples invited Jesus to stay and spend the evening with them, Jesus took their fellowship to the next intimate level…He took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave it to them and then their eyes opened to the startling realization – it’s Jesus!

    …and so, I’m not simply guessing but I know for sure, that if we see in and around us … there is no such thing as an ordinary day. These days as I am traveling to so many different places and meeting so many different people… it is a blessing to sense and see the miraculous provision and protection of God in the lives of my sisters and their families… who have left all comforts of life to serve the Lord among the sick and the suffering.

    Just this past Sunday, my heart burned within me as we meditated on God’s Word around the table while partaking of the bread and cup with the body of believers at a small house fellowship. My spiritual eyes saw the miraculous power of God’s Spirit when a Hindu friend from the slums of Mumbai testified of God’s healing touch that cured a life-threatening infection that had reached the bones. With no job and no financial resource, it is a wonder to see this woman who is now a follower of Christ and her husband raising 10 orphaned kids in her little shack which she refers to as “Jhoppad-patti”.

    Right now I’m feeling so pampered and spoiled by the love and affection of my parents. It is a delight to see my father still faithfully sharing Christ with one and all…despite his daily insulin shots and his struggle with the local language.

    With my eyes of understanding being enlightened, I sense and experience God in everything happening all around me… it spurs me to continue in my faith despite the sorrows, struggles, and shortcomings of this earthly life.

    It is therefore, my prayer that by the reading of His Word, our Spiritual senses may remain alert to know that though we do not see Him with our natural eyes, God is always there with us… to drive away all our fear and loneliness.

    With so many living testimonies of real stories shared by God’s people, I’m convinced that if we express our desire to literally see into Heaven, God will surely help us experience the real wonder… that will bring us to our feet or fall down on our faces before Him… in total awe and adoration!

  14. paulruppert says:

    Yes day in and day out is boredom. In a sense, we want something to happen out of the ordinary, but when it does, we want to go right back to the boredom. Seeing a day for what is to be is to see the future. I believe that we are not able to see the specifics for several reasons, some are, we don’t want to see our own death, or any of our loved ones or friends, others may be temptation, movies have been made of that you guessed it, money, we tend to be weak in a sense that we may be tempted to use our knowledge for ill gotten things, another sense is why would we want to see the most horrible sight we could ever see, a demon, the flesh is only powerful enough to stand a certain shock, that might be the clincher to see our own death, I personally don’t want to see a demon, yes God did allow a few to see the future, but not everything including their own death. God wants us to have love and trust for Him without the prove it mentality. He shows us signs and wonders that will shock, help, and give insight enough. We will see it all when we are safely with the Lord.

  15. tandgmartin says:

    This reminds me of what C.S. Lewis wrote in one of the books of his space trilogy, (I think it was “Out of the Silent Planet,” but could have been “Perelandra”) when Ransom is on another planet and considers his amazing adventure yet thinks a bit about how those back on earth going about their normal days and enjoying their evenings in the comfort of their homes don’t realize how good they have it. In one of the daily devotional readings here on the RBC site by Oswald Chambers, he writes that we aren’t meant to live all the time on the spiritual mountain top, rather the valley is our normal abode and we’re to take the mountain top into the valley with us. There can be some comfort in the boredom of everyday life as long as we keep it in perspective that there’s more going on than meets the eye. Yet another dimension from Ecclesiastes that there’s a time and place for everything under heaven is such a comforting thought to me.
    Great topic, Mart, with many great responses.


  16. saled says:

    I also wonder if when Paul heard ‘unspeakable words, not lawful for a man to utter, if he saw anything to go along with it. And did he smell anything? Maybe not. Scientists say smell triggers memories more vividly than sight does. Maybe the wonderful things that were heard had something to do with the Word that the gospel of John speaks of, maybe hearing was enough.

  17. BobbiLee says:

    sjd: Yes, excellent insight! We can and do trust too much in our experiences. It is in God’s Word ultimately, that we get to know Him and can develop our relationship with Christ. God grants mountain top experiences, but we in our fallen flesh want to stay in them, much like Peter did on the Mount of Transfiguration. In fact Peter wanted to build a house and stay there! It is back down in the valley, as tandgmartin says above, where our duty lies and our work for Christ is played out. Our wonderful spiritual mountain tops are but preparation for the duty in the valley.

  18. SFDBWV says:

    Daisy, I am so glad you are home with your family getting refreshed. Your post is just great. An excellent testimony to the power of Christ.

    Todays Our daily Bread disapointed me a little. I am very familiar with Isaiah 59:1 It says “Behold the Lords hand is not shortened, that it cannot save;neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.”

    To me this is a comment of blessed hope.

    Isaiah 59:2 then says”But your iniquites have seperated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.”

    from verse 2 on, Israel is condemed for it’s sins.

    Jesus paid the paid the price for all believers to expect God to “hear” their prayers. All of us were seperated from a fellowship with God because of our sin.But now we can come before the Lord with confidence that He hears us.

    Our sin no longer seperates us from God hearing us. If we had to come to God cleaned up. None of us would ever be able to do so.

    Our Daily Bread had a bad day, I guess.

  19. sjd says:

    Hebrews 4:14-16 (NASB95)
    ……Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

    It is this continual reality of access to the throne of grace that Steve(SFDBWV) mentions above, that helps make every kind of day an opportunity to experience God’s unlimited grace!

    So thankful for the blood of Christ that makes this access possible ALL the time.

  20. foreverblessed says:

    In one of her books Corrie ten Boom writes about that she met Sadu Sundar Singh, in the easly 1930s, during a conference in the Netherlands.
    Sadu Sundar Singh was an Indian man, Daisyetc might know of him, he was a Brahman, but turned to Christ, just in the same manner as Paul was called. He was personally thaught by Christ. And also saw many visions of heaven, and the spirit world.
    Corrie ten Boom said to him: How wonderful for you to have all these visions, I have none. (or something like that, cant rememer the exact words).
    And he answered:
    “Blessed are those who do not see, and yet have believed.” John 20:29

  21. foreverblessed says:

    So bless the dull day, the rainy day, only menial tasks to do. Be thankfull always, sing songs, pray.

    Just to encourage myself to do this, because many a time I just get a dull view.
    Thats why it is important that christians encourage one another. To have their view aimed above (Coll 3:1-4)set your hearts on things above.
    Although we might not actually see anything, yet believing we are blessed.

  22. sonchild says:

    Interesting conversation! The kind that puts fear or stunned silence in many pastors. The silence that Paul kept is not part of my experience – perhaps it should be. How wonderful and awe full it must have been. 14 years of silence before writing the Corinthians, gave Paul time for thought. So what do we do with these mystical supernatural experiences? And what do we do with the thorn of the flesh that keeps us from being proud? And how do we avoid the jaded view of Goethe? Where do we find others who are willing to share the revelation that they have received to that time? How rare to find God centered conversations that include the supernatural without becoming a gong show of self righteousness.

    It reminds me of the oil in the lamps of the bridesmaids waiting for the groom. We need to keep our wicks trimmed well for the occasion: to share more light when required and turn down our light when less is more and yet always have enough oil to meet the Lord as comes for us. We need to be sensitive to those around us that we witness to, with our journey. Paul was wise to note the difference between too much and too little discernment in sharing what God has done. It is a good lesson for me. Thank you.

    Paul says he will not brag about his vision. Those who have visions remain on the peripheral of the cultural church. It can be social suicide to tell of the vision even when prompted. Those of us who have had such visions as the servant must remain very connected with direction of the Spirit. It tests the priority of the real Lord of our lives when the challenge between silence and engagement in conversations regarding spiritual realities, especially with unbelievers who need miracles to believe or those that think they are crazy because they had a vision.

    “Do be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2Kings 6:16). Same words, same experience -found in scripture -brings tears. How great and merciful is our God!

    Such a concession from God for one of little faith. So the ‘boring” times, the long sleepless nights from pain are times to wait on the LORD and praise his Holy Name. We wait in anticipation and are grateful that this walk with God is not about frequent fireworks but is about a deep and profound conversation with a creator who actually is pleased with his beloved child no matter what. We need to remember to invite God into the ordinariness of our life. Let God cradle you in his arms. As huge as God is, He has a still small voice that gently woke the child Samuel, we need to intentionally attune our entire being to hear from Him.

    I never studied Goethe, so do not know the context of his statement. So sad when we complain about a lack of troubles.

    The ordinary days are gifts of respite from God. What a day (or night) to literally list our blessings and bless those who are in our lives. thanks for the pondering.

  23. elena_william says:

    Boring? Isn’t every day a gift from God? There will never be a boring moment if we were to remember all the awesome and wonderful things God has done for us and all the wonders around us that we can see… I cannot even imagine all the wonders that are around us that we are unaware of. A grateful heart can never know boredom. We are , after all, what we think. By God’s Grace, as long as he gives me good health, I will praise His name and I will never take for granted the treasures He has given.
    However, I have seen people who have lost their memory. I don’t understand how life is for them. But I pray that God , in His mercy, will keep these dear ones and provide for the long hours in their lives and in the lives of their caregivers.

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