A Million Boring Little Things

I was talking to one of my students recently about the temptations of youthful spirituality, how when you are young you get addicted to the buzz of the worship high and then go searching for a more intense fix. You become a worship junkie.

From your high school youth group on being close to God is being ON FIRE! Because God is AWESOME!

That's the temptation for youth, being trained to associate God with adrenaline and the Spirit with excitement.

What I told my student was this.

What no one ever shares with you when you're young is that Christianity is boring. No one tells you that. That Christianity, for the most part, is boring.

No one tells you that Christianity is a 70 to 80 year grind in becoming more kind, more gentle, more giving, more joyful, more patient, more loving.

You learn that God isn't in the rocking praise band or the amped up worship experience. What you learn after college is that Holy Ground is standing patiently in a line. You learn that Holy Ground is learning to listen well to your child, wife or co-worker. Holy Ground is being a reliable and unselfish friend or family member and being a good nurse when someone is sick. Holy Ground is awkward and unlikely friendships. Holy Ground is often just showing up.

Being more and more like Jesus is a million boring little things.

No one ever tells you that when you're young.

Just like no one ever tells you just how risky and revolutionary it all is.

That a truly radical life of following Jesus is made up of a million boring little things.

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28 thoughts on “A Million Boring Little Things”

  1. I love this!

    After trying to read through all the very intelligent and well-written comments from yesterday's post (and feeling very, very un-cerebral as I struggled to understand), today's post is like a warm-fuzzy hug!

  2. R icH that could be true.
    then again,
    that woman at the well, seemed to have been actively engaged in a conversation with Jesus that most everyone wouldn't understand today.
    Yes that combined with a few other little ditties, makes everything a little scary doesn't it.
    Just what does the gospel consist of. ..
    I'm sure glad the creation held GOD'S interest.Those angels that keep flying around gods heaD seem to be continually awestruck that's for all eternity. huh.
    boy oh boy there might be just a little bit more wrong with me than what I'm thinking

  3. A perfect post to start another day of hardwood flooring. Body tired from the day before, sun not yet peaking over the horizon (PacNW), good coffee in hand, and a post reminding me that every movement of my day is shot through with my creator God. Amen

  4. You are on a roll this week - every article has been thought provoking!

  5. Richard, you said: "No one tells you that Christianity is a 70 to 80 year grind in becoming more kind, more gentle, more giving, more joyful, more patient, more loving".

    Now, that's a real blood, sweat and tears people religion!

  6. It ain't just the young folk that are seduced by entertainment worship.
    We should be telling adults this too.

  7. Fr Stephen Freemen wrote recently:

    "... attend services as foremost, and learn to pray. Be generous to everyone, expecting nothing in return. Give thanks for all things. Those few things, done with care, will make you a saint. If not, they’ll make you pleasant to be around and not a reproach to the Christian faith."

    Richard, when you have a moment, please email me.


  8. The one time I did a commencement address was for ACU. It was entitled "Everything I Learned About Life I Learned Coaching T-Ball." And I brought snacks. Juice boxes and goldfish which I handed out to graduates after the service. Why? That's one of the most important lessons you learn from coaching t-ball: the most important part of the experience is the snack. Breaking bread with others--if only goldfish crackers.

  9. I don't think this is a secret or something that needs to be shared. That's the view of Christianity from the outside looking in. Boring. Viewed as a boring list of rules that limit fun. That's why the young generation is scared of jumping in and fully surrendering lives to Christ. (Myself included until a few years ago and I grew up in the church)

    I just have a problem with the word boring, because that's not how I see it. Maybe if you put it like this Dr. Beck "Boring, in the most exciting way". That's how I would put it anyways.

  10. Does it really matter if it's exciting worship or compelling preaching or engaging small groups or fantastic mission trips? If it's not Jesus and becoming more like Him through the power of the Spirit to one day be with God, why are we doing it?

  11. No but we do a pretty good job of showing young people that Christianity is boring if you look around on any given Sunday in mod churches.

  12. "Difficult simplicity" indeed! That is such an apt description of what we do to Christianity in the name of religion. We seem to have a hard time accepting that our "doing" will never out match the "it is finished" of Christ.

  13. 'it is finished', I think, means now. now it is finished so I can do. The curtain ripped top to bottom to invite exposure to the truth that, not just prescribed preasthoods are the special ppl appointed and trained but via the holy spirit my life is transformed & I am as christ inna world created where there is no male or female, slave or free cuz reality; we're all one. I try to step out in faith every day and test this reality & I find it holds me up!

  14. there's more right w you that the wrong could expose I think! last stages alcoholism got me into a program that, turned me around, saved my life and introduced me to a loving god & a loving community of life on life's terms. The devil meant it for harm but god brought good out of the crisis.

  15. On the other hand, perhaps those blazing, youthful fires of ecstasy are what God uses to fashion glowing coals of joyful warmth within that will sustain us through the long grind.

  16. Is it perhaps getting harder and harder to bare patient fruitfulness of life (in this society) because of the way our lives are more and more divorced from the work of cultivation (be that gardening, building things by hand, raising kids 24/7 etc)?

  17. Love love love this! This year has been a process of learning that, although I don't have an hour long "quiet time" every morning, my relationship with God is flourishing through my work and relationships. They aren't the most glamorous or "spiritually intense" experiences, but God is still very present!

  18. Superb. I would take issue with "boring". It may be semantics, but life, these past 43 years has been anything but boring. At times, I honestly wish it was boring. I think, "frustrating", "discouraging", or, "hypocritical", and even "humiliating"might be a better substitute. You can add rage and anger in there as well. But, as the blogger hints, there are silver threads of incredibly rich, indescribable, cathartic, heart-pounding, and heart-warming moments that make it all worthwhile. There is the knowledge that God is not a crutch, a fad, or a dream and Jesus is not "meek and mild". I can sum up my walk, so far, as two forward, one back; three forward, one back; and one forward, three back.

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