I know you've been there; all of us have at one time or another. The place called a state of boredom – a generalized feeling of anxiety because nothing is on, nobody is available, and you have zero-zilch interest in doing anything.
Believe me, I've been there too. Try being in the military where your job all day is walking around an F-16 jet fighter "guarding" it from prairie dogs who might find their way into the intake and end up having a very bad day when they get sucked through the turbine. After a few hours of staring at a stationary plane and a background of weeds and holes, you start to hallucinate that there are ninja rodents getting … past … your … heavy … eyelids. Judo chop!
I have great news for all citizens of boredom nation. The President and CEO of Dare 2 Share Ministries has written a new book, and it's *very* good. It's called You're Next, and I'm mentioning it is because not only is it a cure for boredom, it is also a connection to the amazing and sometimes crazy ways God unites His truth with our lives. Each chapter is a story from Greg Stier's definitely-not-boring life and how God used seemingly random and semi-ridiculous events to grab him by the heart and the head and say "You're not alone, and I love you!" While this book is primarily written for young adults, I guarantee it is an incredibly impactful read for anyone in their 30's and beyond.
Enough about the book; check out what I mean firsthand:
Brown Elementary was about a 10-block walk (or run, if some kids were chasing me) from my house. When I was seven years old, every day was a challenge. Some kids in my neighborhood didn't like me—but that wasn't my biggest worry. I also had to walk to school through major snowstorms, which made my walk long and cold. But that didn't bother me at all.
What did bother me were the two German shepherds that often ran loose along my route to school. The people who owned them didn't seem concerned that their dogs escaped regularly. I'm sure they didn't think that these dogs would ever hurt anybody. But I wasn't sure. These dogs looked vicious, as if they wanted to eat a second-grader for breakfast. I was always careful to walk on the other side of the street. And I tried to be as quiet as I could. The last thing I wanted was for them to hear me, then come running across the street and attack me.
One cold Colorado day I was making my daily trek to Brown Elementary when out of the corner of my eye something caught my attention. The two German shepherds had escaped again, but this time they were headed at full speed straight for me. My heart was pounding like a drum as I backed up to a chain-link fence and prayed. These dogs were going to attack. I knew it. They weren't barking, they were charging. Without thinking, I crossed my arms in front of my face and grabbed the chain-link fence with my tiny fingers. I was standing with my arms blocking my face and holding on with all my might to the cold metal of the fence.
One dog was going toward my face, and the other dog was trying to attack my stomach or arms or something. I couldn't really tell. I only knew they were biting me hard and it hurt. I soon realized that if I let go of that fence and the bigger dog got hold of my face, I would be in even more trouble. If they had gotten hold of my throat, they could have killed me.
Oh yeah, I left out one important detail. I was wearing a thick leather jacket that was zipped up to the top (thanks, Ma!), so the dogs, while they left indentations from their teeth all over my arms, couldn't penetrate my skin.
Finally a wiry, little old lady nicknamed "Ma" Zeemer came out with a baseball bat (my second experience with a bat!) and chased those dirty dogs away. She told the police the attack went on for minutes. It took her that long to shuffle down the street to come to my aid. The police officers made sure I was all right and then sent me on my way. It's weird. I never saw those dogs again.
Years later Grandma told me why. That night when my grandpa heard what had happened, he went to their owner's door and knocked. Grandma told me that the conversation went something like this:
"Did you know that my grandson was attacked by your two dogs this morning?"
"Yeah, so what?"
"Well, I just want to show you my .357 Magnum pistol here. It's got three bullets in it, two for your dogs and one for you—if I ever see those dogs again."
Now THAT is one cool grandpa! Greg then goes on to explain that even though we are attacked – not by dogs, but by demons – our Heavenly Father will one day be like that Grandfather who heads over to Satan's hideaway and communicates a "back off" message for eternity.
Revelation 20:10: "And the devil, who deceived [the nations], was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
In a nut shell, You're Next entertains, but it also enlightens us into the astonishing and sometimes shocking ways God's truth is woven into the fabric of our seemingly ordinary everyday lives.
So I propose a "bored no more" summer. Pick up You're Next, and get started into the fascinating topic of connecting God and His truth with you and your life. I promise new discoveries will sneak … past … your … sleepy … soul ….
Lane Palmer is the Youth Ministries Specialist for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with to provide resources for youth leaders and students. Dare 2 Share exists to energize and equip teens to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries or the GameDay youth conference tour, please visit www.dare2share.org. Send feedback to email@example.com.