Tag Archive: FUN


BOREDOMNESS

Bored. Boredom. Bore. Boring. Boredness. Boringness.  Boredomness. Boreder. Boredest. Boreocity. Boredomicity. Borology. Boreocitous. Boreocitiness. Boreociphy.  Bordomidity. Boringicitinizationality. Boreonitis. Borography. Borosophy. Boreociphilus. Boredomicityness. Boreometrics. Boreometer. Boreometricity. Boreometricityness.  Boreo-eccentric. Boreo-eccentricity. Aurora Borealis. Borealis Australis. Borealis Japonicus. Bore Rabbit. Borebank. Spectral boreocity. Spacial boredomity. Specio-boredomity. Specio-boranalityometrification. Paleo-boredomity. Acute boredomity. Aggrovated boredomity. Terminal boredom. Terminally boring. Terminal boredomity. Digital Boreometer. Boreodictomy. Acute Borificational Disorder. Borificationality. Locationally bored. Anti-borationality. Pseudo-borationality. Boreometriculation. Boreometriculatory. Boroanlyticaliditationality. Boreotic. Boreotalisis. Boreoanalysis. Spectro-boreoanalysis. Boreoctoalnalysis. Boreomastitis. Boreatric. Boreatrically. Boreatriculosity. Boreotricityomallisis. Extreme borealidityness. Post-personaleoboriditification. Pre-personaleoboriditificationally. Pre-extrapaleoboriditificationally.

Is anyone bored yet?

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“Boredomness” © Nick Fisher Feb. 2018

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Many of us fail to live our lives to the full. Countless people reach old age wishing they had done things differently, and that they had made more of their time on earth…

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Here’s the second half of my rant on the subject of boredom. It’s the biggest half (joke). I wrote in the shortest half that I’m convinced vast numbers of us are bored, and this boredom drives us to attempt to fulfill our lives in many ways, some of which are wasteful or wrong in the eyes of our Creator.

Our society has reduced the human mind to a manageable size in order to maintain a controllable populace, while at the same time convincing us that life is getting richer. As I wrote last time, our modern world seeks to profit from the problem it creates, taking natural freedoms and real, free, God-given paths to fulfillment from us, and then providing endless forms of what it calls “entertainment” at our expense to fill in the gap.

Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 ESV).

What did Jesus mean by “abundant life”?

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WHAT THE ANTIDOTE ISN’T

We tend to expect that a “real” and a “loving” God should be at our disposal twenty-four hours a day, like some supernatural Jeeves, fulfilling our every desire, fixing all our problems and just generally facilitating our own idea of happiness. This, according to our carnal minds, would be abundant life. However, you only have to look at the lives of some of the richest people around, who have all the time in the world to enjoy their wealth, to see that money and privilege don’t automatically provide happiness, contentment or a trouble-free life. And to make it worse, “The eyes of man are never satisfied” (Proverbs 27:20).

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When it appears God has failed to deliver all the goodies we think a loving God should deliver, and failed to perform all his duties as we see them, we’re prone to giving up on him. I’ve written extensively about this subject, particularly as it relates to the whole question of suffering. Here we’re being more specific and considering fulfillment and the enjoyment of life.

What did Jesus mean by “abundant life”? When we read the gospels and particularly the letters of the apostles, we don’t read about a Church having a swinging time, overcome by ecstasy and euphoria. In fact, if we look at the life of Jesus himself- our example-we see that he was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”. Then he was crucified. Perhaps this “abundant life” we’re promised doesn’t necessarily include all the good things we want out of this world: perhaps it means something else.

THE FIRST SHOT

I think abundant life in this context means that we have an inner joy of communion with our God, with the peace and hope it brings, and a spiritual life which will never end. It could be the subject for an entire series of posts. I just want to make clear here that the Christian life is not always one of earthly delights and delirious deliciousness in the way people who don’t know God would expect. It may instead be one of suffering and persecution, as it is in many parts of the world. Our consideration today is about whether, and if so how, we who are (in theory) free to pursue life, liberty and happiness should actually go about doing the same.

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The first answer must be a scriptural one, because we’re told that we are to “die to self”. We’re supposed to pick up our cross daily and follow him, and to serve our brothers and sisters. Paul said, We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up” (Romans 15:1-2 NIV).

The Christian life isn’t about fulfilling our own needs, but how we can minister to each others’ needs. In that way we fulfill our obligation to our God, we express the love we’re supposed to be expressing, and as a result we find deep meaning in life for ourselves.

Having made that priority clear, I’m convinced that God doesn’t expect us to sit around groaning and sighing for the rest of the day in order to “die to self”. Dying to self doesn’t mean we have to be miserable, morose and moribund to be a good Christian, or that we have to be straight-laced, bored and boring: it means we put God and others first before ourselves. And don’t forget that joy is one of the fruits of the spirit: it’s for the believer (Galatians 5:22). We gain joy (the real thing-not that elusive stuff the TV waves in front of our noses) by knowing Him and being in a proper relationship with Him. However, on top of that God has provided many ways and possibilities for us to enjoy life.

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CHRISTIAN REDUCTIONISM

When I first became a Christian I was so intent on parting myself from my former way of life and all that I perceived to be “of the devil”, that I purged myself of almost everything I possessed, everyone I knew, and all I had previously enjoyed. I cut myself off from all my former influences and pleasures. Friends thought I had been brainwashed by some American cult (cults from anywhere else in the world were acceptable). They were so “concerned” that they avoided me like the plague (a little irony there)…perhaps a hint that I was actually on the right track, because:

What fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

Having been a bass player by profession, I sold my bass and my amp. I detached myself overnight from my musical and theatrical contacts. I disposed of all my books, memorabilia, photographs, and my entire record collection-all the music I had loved, enjoyed and been musically influenced by for years.

All I had left was a bed and a Bible, and I was considering getting rid of the bed…

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GREY AREAS (UK spelling)

Two years later I began to swing back the other way. Now, many years on, I find myself, without any feelings of guilt, enjoying things which some Christians would consider unacceptable, ungodly, far too worldly, and maybe even damnable. I regularly thank the Lord for what he allows me to enjoy and blesses me with.

No, I’m not one of those people who gets high every day and has a string of live-in lovers. Such things are among the “black and the white” as far as I’m concerned, the things we can know are wrong in the eyes of God, and as Paul said:

“…those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

I’m speaking of things which are not forbidden or perhaps not mentioned in the Bible, but which some people think are out-of-bounds for Christians: things sometimes called “grey areas”:

“Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves” (Romans 14:22).

That’s a verse some people would like to have removed from the Bible. But grey areas do require some thought and prayerful Biblical consideration. We shouldn’t allow anything which will control us or harm us:

Everything is permissible for me-but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me-but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12).

Paul counseled the consideration of others as our ultimate guide in those grey areas:

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak… “…so this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge” (1 Corinthians 8: 9, 11).

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LIVING LIFE

I believe in raging against the mold our own society attempts to squeeze us into. We all have different DNA. We’re all different in character for a reason: let’s tap into that difference, and use it for God’s glory first, and then for our own satisfaction. This applies to our careers, our pastimes and hobbies, our relationships, and to all of life. Some people are so busy trying to be different in the way they think the world will be impressed by that they’re actually all “different” in the same ways. They completely miss and mask their own, true characteristics. For goodness’ sake-for God’s sake-be yourself.

Who gave humans the capacity to laugh, to run, to see the world’s beauty, to make love, to read, to create, to imagine, to play, and to do so many other things? It wasn’t the devil, and it certainly wasn’t Charles Darwin or the process outlined in his theory. God made man (men and women) in his image: we’re able to do what we can do because of His loving, incredible design.

GOD’S WILL FOR YOUR LIFE

Look for the things you love to do and which are not ungodly, and do them to the best of your ability. This includes your career. Don’t spend years trying to discover “God’s will for your life”. His will is simple: that you be conformed to his Son. He may well have a specific plan for you: he will make it happen without you having to know in advance what it is. He has given you talents and gifts. He has given you a love for something-a passion. Do it to the best of your ability, and God’s will will be manifest in your life.

Life is to be lived: family; love, romance and sex (in its proper place and form). Adventure: why would God tell man to “fill the earth” if he didn’t want us to explore it? Challenge, learning, friendship…it can all be within his will, and it can all be enjoyed to the full. The world is a big, beautiful place, and life can, at times, be amazing: make the most of it.

If the Bible doesn’t condemn it; if doesn’t hurt you or anyone else; if it doesn’t damage or neutralize your faith-do it, and enjoy it.

 

An old song by a British band I once liked was titled “I’m bored”. I’ve identified with the sentiments of the song numerous times in my life, and this little admission forms the basis of a theory of mine which I believe explains many maladies in our world…

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I was listening to a discussion about Don Quixote, the fictional, self-styled knight-errant, created four hundred years ago by Cervantes. If you haven’t read it, I recommend it-most particularly the Tobias Smollett translation. Quixote made himself what he could never really be-a brave knight-and went out into the world in search of adventure, causing all kinds of trouble, mostly for himself.

The learned panel discussing Quixote debated whether he was mad or just eccentric. I go with the “eccentric” diagnosis. However, I say that it was an eccentricity born of boredom, as eccentricity probably often is. Quixote had had it with his dead-end, uneventful existence, and having read all those exciting stories of knights traveling the world and fighting dragons and saving beautiful maidens, he could only find a way of avoiding madness by re-making himself as one of the knights he’d read about.

Isn’t that the kind of thing children do? Their little minds (before television, overbearing parents and public education get a hold of them) are vitally, vibrantly, constantly active, and unencumbered by the stiff, monochrome, limiting confines of reality, they create their own worlds to find fun and thrills in.

We humans look for meaning and entertainment in all kinds of ways. In the West large numbers of people are fixated on Television. I’m not saying TV us intrinsically wrong. It isn’t, but for millions who live out drab, uneventful time-lines, or who don’t have the time, energy, money or imagination to do the real thing, it’s a convenient and easy way to experience any number of situations and activities without moving out of the comfort and safely of the e-z chair. The rest of us are virtually (pun intended) addicted to various forms of digital entertainment via the internet and computer-based devices. We’re all trying to brighten our lives somehow.

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Conquerors and marauders do their thing partly because it’s so thrilling. It’s much more fun setting fire to things and picking fights with people than spending eight or ten hours of mundane drudgery a day at the office, followed by a few hours of sitting on a log or in an armchair, dreading the thought of doing it all over again for the bazillionth time the next day. People take hallucinogenic drugs not necessarily because they’re evil but because normal life is so stale, empty, gray and uneventful in comparison. I’m not condoning illicit drug use-just stating a fact. Even cats are similarly challenged with boredom, which is why they sleep so much. Some people sleep their lives away because dream worlds are much more interesting than the real one.

I’m not pointing any fingers, because I’m as guilty as anyone. And anyway, I’m convinced that God created us for so much more than what we as a society have made available to ourselves.

Neither am I saying that sin doesn’t play a part in such things as despotism, alcohol and drug abuse, and sexual promiscuity: it does. In fact, it’s the central cause, the root cause. But sin is frequently manifest in the lives of us humans because we’re seeking-consciously or unconsciously-meaning and fulfillment. Just look at Eve, who was persuaded that she would gain some exciting kind of enlightenment by doing what God had told her not to do.

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We’re bored. We’re more bored than we realize. We’re seeking vital, real, experiential, fun-filled, scintillating lives. And because we’re so incredibly and intricately designed, so fantastically crafted, yet using only five percent of our brains and sometimes even less of our physical potential, we look for a way-any way-to do something to alleviate the mind-numbing, crushing frustration and boredom which we often don’t recognize or identify. We’re unable to analyze our problem, let alone look for an answer in any constructive way. And having not lived long enough or having been unwilling or unable to find the wisdom or the power to control ourselves, we-that is, some of us-launch out in ways which may be destructive and which are sometimes sinful. Profligacy, hedonism, harmful proclivities, addictions all come from an inability or unwillingness to assess or conjure up a proper response to our pent-up potential.

Modern society is part of the problem. It also seeks to profit from the problem it creates, taking natural freedoms and real paths to fulfillment from us, and then providing endless forms of entertainment at our expense to fill in the gap. However, in many ways it fails to give what we really need to overcome our condition.

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So what’s the solution: what do we do? I’m not sure that there is a completely satisfactory fix in this life. I do, however, agree with Augustine, who, having once lived a life of unbridled hedonism, came to the following conclusion:

Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.

(From “Confessions”).

Solomon, sometimes seen as the wisest man who ever lived, sought after meaning and fulfillment through entertainment, sex and wealth. Being a king, and a very successful one, he was in a position to fulfill all his sensuous desires in as many ways as he could imagine, including possessing a huge harem. However, having tried it all he eventually came to the same conclusion as Augustine. Deciding that it was all “vanity” or emptiness, he declared:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV).

I hear some of you groaning and complaining about “church”, and about how boring and unfriendly it can be. Actually, I didn’t say anything about “church”. And do you know what? I agree with you: “church” is frequently not what it should be, and no amount of what’s called “contemporary worship” is going to cut it for me personally-although I understand that it seems to do the trick for some people. Yes, church can be rather dull and can fail to provide the things in life we crave for, but really, it isn’t intended to, on its own. Church attendance is part of a much bigger picture of living life in step with our Creator.

How do us active-minded, imaginative souls live a life of faith and obedience without screaming inside with frustration? Is the entertainment the world offers off-bounds to believers wanting to live a godly life? The answers to these questions could be the subjects of an entire series of blog posts, and I could probably not do them justice even so. However, in part 2, I’ll attempt to offer a few thoughts…

Copyright © January 2017 by Nick Fisher

 

MY FAVORITE THINGS

It really is true that if you “count your blessings” you begin to realize what a tremendous gift life is, despite all the hardships, horrors, hassles and hindrances. Perhaps my list of favorite things will help you count your blessings too…

The following list does intentionally omit certain favorite things of mine-one is blanket reference to my faith, but you can accept as a given that the God of the Bible rules my preferences, and I have, unavoidably, noted a few things relevant to my beliefs.

Another intentional omission is consideration of romance and sex, which would otherwise populate the list in a rather more colorful way. But as I’ve said before, this is intended to be a “family-friendly” blog.

MY FAVORITE THINGS

Favorite color: purple

Favorite word: love

Favorite sound: birds singing; ocean waves pounding the shore

Favorite plant: Pine tree (all varieties)

Favorite animal: Thrush

Favorite food: English cheese

Favorite meal: Tandoori chicken

Favorite substance: paint

Favorite name: Jesus

Favorite time: bed time

Favorite material: leather

Favorite movie: “Koyaanisqatsi”, “Oedipus Wrecks”

Favorite movie star: Woody Allen

Favorite song: And Can It Be?

Favorite ice cream: Baskin Robbins chocolate fudge

Favorite game: snooker

Favorite sport: soccer

Favorite comedian: John Cleese, Michael Palin

Favorite speaker: Ken Ham

Favorite topic of discussion: origins and creation

Favorite artist: Vincent Van Gogh

Favorite painting: Olive Trees series by Van Gogh

Favorite art style: cubism

Favorite musical genre: electronica

Favorite musical instrument: piano

Favorite composer: JS Bach

Favorite band: Yes, Gentle Giant

Favorite musician: Chris Squire, Jaco Pastorius

Favorite vocalist: Jon Anderson

Favorite book: “The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

Favorite drink: Couintreau

Favorite planet: Saturn

Favorite Bible book: John’s gospel, Genesis

Favorite politician:

Favorite website: answersingenesis.org

Favorite fruit: Israeli oranges

Favorite place: the Grand Canyon

Favorite weapon: the pen

Favorite country: England 1973

Favorite experience: worshipping God

Favorite odor: patchouli, pine, seaspray

Favorite statesman: Winston Churchill

Favorite sensation: raindrops on a hot summer day

Favorite weather: severe thunderstorms

Favorite temperature: 88F (low humidity)

Favorite Dr. Who enemy: the weeping angels

Favorite tool: saw

Favorite Star Wars scene: Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan versus Darth Maul

Favorite Star Wars character: the original emperor

Favorite existing building: York Minster

Favorite car: 1970 VW Beetle

Favorite disease: fits of laughter

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The Lord has blessed me with a rich and full life already, so here begins a little series noting some of my favorite experiences…

(Readers, please note my new domain name)

I was almost sixteen, and I was travelling to the US from London to visit some family. Boarding the plane from Heathrow I managed to get a seat next to the window. As the plane taxied down the runway I couldn’t understand why the wing appeared to come apart, or whether I should be worried about it. This just added to the thrill of my first ever flight…a little fear adds fun to any occasion, doesn’t it?

At the start of the runway, the captain announced that we’d been given clearance to take off.

What happened next-though I’ve flown many times since-was without doubt one of the great events of my life. The engines roared and screamed, the plane shook, and we began to move. The thrill of the moment made me light-headed as I felt the power of those incredible engines pushing me back into my seat, and that mighty machine thundered down the runway, in a do-or-die determination to escape from the earth.

No, we didn’t crash. 

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