Once upon a time there lived a family–a dad, a mom, and three kids. This family lived in India, though they were from America. They had many adventures during their three years overseas, but many boring days, too. In fact, some of the boring-est times of their young lives they experienced in India.
This was not India’s fault. See, the mom of the family homeschooled her three children, which meant that they were together all the time. And of course, this meant that there were snuggly times, educational times, cranky/mean/irritable times, no-electricity-but-who-cares-we-have-each-other-and-a-good-book times, and I-can’t-believe-this-day-is-not-over-yet times.
After three years, the family moved back to America. Lots of things were different in the States. There were fewer people, but more restaurants; less traffic, but more cars; more opportunities, but less time. One thing had not changed, however. The mom still homeschooled the kids.
The mom–and her kids–soon realized that their physical location had not altered their daily lives all that much. Oh sure, the electricity stayed on all the time, and that helped. There were no water shortages, so they didn’t need a flushing schedule, and that was nice. But they still had to face the business of seeing one another’s faces every minute of every day. They had to confront the mundane sameness of their workload (easy at it was, compared to the load of so many). They still had to deal with bad attitudes, and boredom, and laziness.
This threw them for a loop just a bit. Maybe they’d thought an easier environment would produce more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?
But, of course, it didn’t.
They still woke up to themselves every morning. There they were, with the same inward struggles, the same inclinations and irritations, the same battles against despair (although this last one was mostly the mom’s private war). All of that hadn’t changed with a new home address.
Oh, they laughed too. They loved their naughty puppy, the green grass, and the chance to make new friends. They enjoyed sweet times with loved ones and trips to the public library. But they were sober. Because they soon realized that new things get old fast. They began to understand that we carry what’s truest about us inside ourselves, wherever we go. That it’s possible to be discontented and disappointed in the king’s palace, as well as in the pauper’s shack. When they whined and twisted and complained in the Land of Easy, they were stunned at first. This land of opportunity had not fulfilled their desires. And their pursuit of happiness? It was driving them crazy.
They wanted to blame all of this on homeschooling, on each other, on America, on India, on life. But then they remembered that Jesus said that he is the only one who will ever fill us up. That he promised us trials, and burdens, and even restlessness, in this world. That we are meant, ultimately, for Somewhere Else. That we will find our ultimate joy in him–and nowhere else.
So the family decided, for the millionth time, that they’d press into the moments of restlessness and the discontent. That they’d try to embrace it as normal–even expected, for now. They’d remind one another–once again–that some day, things will be different. Someday soon, they will see Him face to face.
And that will not be boring.