Do you think Jesus ever got bored?
Yes, I know it’s a strange question.
I’ve always had a fear of being bored. A sort of underlying anxiety about not having enough to do. If I voice it, my ever-practical organised wife will present me with a list of possible activities as long as my arm! Children are sometimes heard to declare, “I’m bored.” They want us to entertain them or help them connect with some new and interesting activity.
In the Gospels we get a picture of Jesus’ life that is quite the opposite to boredom. In this week’s lectionary gospel, Mark 6.30 – 34, 53 – 56, we get images of frenetic activity. Boredom was never an issue for Jesus.
So many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat.(v31)
As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognised Jesus.(v54)
Wherever he went – into villages, towns or countryside – they placed the sick in the market places. (v56)
Wherever he went, there was a buzz, milling crowds, people to talk with, to care for, to heal, to inspire and encourage.
Jesus recognised that endless round of busy-ness in the people who surrounded him, to the point that he saw them as like direction-less sheep. Sheep without a shepherd to protect them and guide them to ‘life-giving grass’.
It seems to me that being bored can only be an affliction for the affluent. It is for those whose life is so comfortable that they are not engaged in the constant round of activities associated with earning a living, looking after a family, staying alive.
One of the attractions of Jesus for ordinary people was his apparent sense of direction. His life was filled with purposeful activity. But even he couldn’t keep going all the time. Come with me to quiet place and get some rest, he said (verse 31).
The balance between too much and too little activity is not always easy to achieve, especially in our productive middle years when we have a family to care for, and employment commitments to fulfill. As an older person I hunger for worthwhile things to do, the busy-ness of my younger years, while my body reminds me – occasionally!! – that I can’t now live at the pace I once took for granted.
The overall Biblical picture is of people being made in the image of God, partners with him in the re-creation of the world. All of them, including those we read about in today’s Gospel. Helping to make your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Jesus saw the people of his day as ‘sheep without a shepherd’. How, in our modern world do you think that Jesus gives purpose and direction to the rich and famous, the poor and needy….and to ordinary people like you and me? And keeps us from the perils of boredom?