We live in a world that gets bored easily. We keep looking for the next big thing – for something spectacular. At any moment with a click, we can watch the greatest singers and athletes in the world. We can see every beautiful spot on the planet. We can hear the best music, read the best books, watch the best movies, and be visually, emotionally, and intellectually amazed constantly.
And, the result is that we are perpetually bored. We can't wait for the new iPhone or iPad to come out and a few months later when we hear about the next one, we are like little kids who forget the old toy at the introduction of a new one. We are disappointed with what we have because someone else has something newer. Nothing lasts and this approach isn't working. Even our ventures into nostalgia are usually just phases that we go through until we get tired of it. The pop superstar or star athlete of today is quickly forgotten when the next big sensation comes along as it is almost required that we move on in our affections. We can travel with ease and if we spend more than a month without taking a little trip somewhere, we begin to get despondent. What is happening to us? Our constant desire for entertainment has left us without the ability to think, process, relate to others, or produce much of lasting consequence. We are people craving the spectacular while continually being unimpressed with all that we see. In our constant boredom and rush for the "new thing," we are proving that, down deep, we know that there is more to life than what we can see, taste, or touch. Our simultaneous boredom and capacity to constantly grasp for something new tells us something, if we will listen. We have a deep desire to be ultimately satisfied and we continually confess that we cannot find it because we keep moving from one thing to another. Yet, we tend to believe that the next thing that comes our way will actually satisfy. When will we learn?
CS Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
So, this boredom and lack of satisfaction with things actually tells us that we are made for another world. The boredom speaks to the idea that satisfaction does await us somewhere – but we cannot grasp it here. The problem comes in when Christians experience the same boredom. When Christians are not excited about what God is doing in the world, when we think we've seen it all before, when we become so sophisticated that we cannot rejoice in God's work in another person or be surprised by daily miracles, then we are experiencing a soul sickness that can be devastating. We might just be spiritually asleep, having been lulled to sleep by the siren song of the world that promises much but delivers little.
Little kids are always excited. They dance around, play, laugh, and have big eyes and wide open mouths at almost everything. They believe things. We do not see their movement to dourness and cynicism as a sign of maturity. Instead, we see the loss of innocence and excitement as a tragedy, not as a coming of age. We need to be like little kids – dancing, playing, laughing with eyes and mouths wide open. We need to be people who are easily impressed, who can grasp and be amazed at what God has done in Christ, and who have hearts open with joy to the work of God! If we lose our sense of wonder, excitement, and praise to God for what He has done and promises to do, then what do we have left? We are only left with our fears, failures, and our own strength, which is not much. But, if we truly look to the Lord and are willing to see God's work in the life of others, if we have eyes to see what God is doing, if we can actually accept that God is breaking in and doing a new thing everyday, then we will begin to be restored to a sense of wonder, joy, and excitement in life as we live it with God. We will see with eyes of faith!
Cynicism is a deadly solvent that can tear our lives apart. We need joy. Let us go back to the Source of life and joy, namely Jesus, and ask Him to break the hard crust of cynicism and allow us to see the wonder of His Creation and the beauty of His work in our lives. Let us see Him!