Boredom – the root of all evil

By Dave Henning / September 8, 2020

“Boredom is the root of all evil.  It is very curious that boredom, which itself has such a calm and sedate nature, can have such a capacity to initiate motion.  The effect boredom brings about is absolutely magical, but this effect is one not of attraction but of repulsion.”- Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

Mark Batterson continues Chapter 1 of Wild Goose Chase as he reports a random thought that came to him out of nowhere: Do angels yawn?  While this may seem like an inane theological question, Mark seriously wonders if angels possess the capacity to get bored.  Above all, Pastor Batterson wonders is some of us live such safe lives that not only bore us, but our guardian angels.

Against this backdrop, Mark asks us to consider the gospel story of the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22).  Certainly, on paper the rich young ruler had it all.  But, Mark finds, the ruler was bored with his faith.  Hence his question to Jesus, “What do I still lack?”

Pastor Batterson believes the rich young ruler lacked adventure.  A deep-seated longing within him desired more than simply not doing anything wrong.  However, the author asserts, simply keeping the commandments (a good thing) and stopping there leaves us feeling caged.  Mark continues:

“Too many of us end up settling for spiritual mediocrity instead of striving for spiritual maturity.  Jesus speaks to that deep-seated longing for adventure by challenging us to come out of the cage.  But coming out of the cage means giving up the very thing in which we find our security and identity outside of Christ.”

In conclusion, the author observes, the rich young ruler needed to give up a great deal.  But regardless of the amount he’d give up, Jesus offered him so much more.  Because a relationship with Jesus = priceless.  Yet, the rich young ruler turned down Jesus’ offer.  He, like many people today, made the mistake of choosing an accessorized life over a life of adventure.  Chasing the Wild Goose.

Mark applies this to us:

“Just like the rich young ruler, we have a choice to make.  The same offer is extended.  We can stay in our cage, end up with everything, and realize it amounts to nothing.  Or we can come out of our cage and chase the Wild Goose.”

Today’s question: How do you respond to Kierkegaard’s quote?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Forfeiting the adventure God’s destined”

About the author

Dave Henning

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