My son came to me the other day and said, with a slight whine in his voice, “Dad, can you make church not so long tonight?”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because I always want to fall asleep!” was his honest reply.
I answered, “Well, son, the people who come to church come to hear a message from the Bible, so I cannot promise that church will not be long.” Of course, “long” is a relative word anyway. Our service lasts from 6:00 to 7:30 on Thursday nights. Shorter than a movie or a ball game, but nonetheless to a 4 year-old, it’s long!
About an hour later, he came to me and said, “Did you decide yet, Dad?”
“If you could make church not so long tonight.”
“Well, I already answered you, son.”
But apparently he heard what he wanted to hear and not what I said. Later in the day he told his sisters, “Daddy is going to make church not be so long tonight.” One of the girls said to me, “Is that true, Daddy?”
“Is what true?”
“Stephen said you’re going to make church shorter tonight.”
“No, that’s not what I told him.”
Apparently he had a serious case of “wishful thinking.” Now, I must stick up for my son lest someone think he is a little heathen. He’s a very good boy. He loves all the people at church. But sometimes he gets really bored with the church service itself. It’s hard enough for any 4 year-old to stay interested in church, much less when the services are conducted entirely in a language that is not his own. So, I’m not too worried about the fact that he would rather be outside playing than sitting in church. But what I do worry about is adult and teen Christians who are bored like my 4 year-old son.
Don’t Be Bored with the House of God
I’m talking about those who drift in and out of sleep, gaze longingly out the window, count the number of light bulbs in the church, and draw in the songbook. I’m talking about the ones who have to leave the service 9 times to talk on their cell phone. I’m talking about the ones who act like church is a religious duty which one must endure instead of a precious time of worshipping the God who loves them. Psalm 122:1 says, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.”
Don’t Be Bored with the Word of God
I wonder how many times we as Christians approach our Bible reading time with indifference, apathy, and a desire to “keep it short.” Or if we do not necessarily desire to keep it short, there is still oftentimes the lack of ability to focus. Sometimes the smallest of interruptions can get us off track! We should not read our Bibles like a bored 4 year-old. Psalm 19:10 says that the Word of God is more desirable than much fine gold and it is sweeter than honey! The Word of God is valuable beyond measure and has a sweetness that is without equal! We should read and study it as if we actually believed that.
Don’t Be Bored with the Blessings of God
When God’s grace and lovingkindness and His undeserved blessings become “ho-hum” to us warning signals should go off in our heads. Psalm 126:3 tells us the kind of spirit we should have when we consider God’s blessings: “The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” Psalm 103:2 says, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” The Psalmist proceeds to itemize those benefits in the subsequent verses. I challenge you to read through Psalm 103 and then write down every single “benefit” that God has provided for you. It is stunning when you really stop to think about it. I don’t ever want to get over the manifold blessings of our gracious God.
I trust this thought will be a challenge to you to stay excited about the house of God, to stay focused upon the Word of God, and to continually stand in awe of the blessings of God. After all, we’re not 4 years old anymore.