Battling Boredom: My Struggle with a Flat Faith – Part V

Now that I am more aware of the role boredom plays in my faith (Part I & Part IV) as well as alerted to the pinholes of lack of connection (Part II) and a focus on comparisons (Part III) that have led to a flat faith, I can get back on track to living and experiencing a vibrant and alive faith.

My Boredom Battle Plan

God has promised to continue the good work He has started in me until the day when Christ Jesus returns (Philippians 1:6). Trusting on that promise, I move forward in the battle plan the Holy Spirit has laid out as the path for that good work.

  1. 4-16-13 wavesFind variety in sameness. The wind and the waves appear to exist in monotony, yet they are not boring. Instead, they are obediently beautiful (Matthew 8:27). While my life’s routine needs to exist for a reason, I must realize that there is usually more than one way to accomplish a task.
  2. Connect more. The two greatest commandments are to love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-40). Connecting allows me increased opportunity to live love and to practice that which the Holy Spirit teaches me in times of solitude.
  3. Find ways to just be. Constantly occupying my mind distracts me from hearing the still small voice of God. In Fed Up with Flat Faith, Kathy Howard writes that “only the Holy Spirit can transform our faith, but we can obediently position ourselves to be in the center of His activity.” When I find ways to just be, I find that often places me where He is active.
  4. Regularly evaluate my habits. In Fed Up with Flat Faith, Kathy also talks about Eli the priest and how “his habit of faith got in the way.” This is contrasted with Samuel who grew “in stature and favor with God and man” (1 Samuel 2:26) and who “enjoyed a full, dynamic relationship with God.” As I am still before God, He will transform me by correcting bad habits, establishing new ones, and confirming what to continue.
  5. Gather tinder. Do you regularly remember your past experiences with God along with times you witnessed His glory?  Kathy calls doing so “gathering tinder” to fuel the fire of our faith. Kathy reminds us that if we are children of God, “His presence is not based on our feelings, but on His promises.” So, no matter how I feel, even when boredom becomes intense, I can know that He promises to always be with me (Matthew 28:20). As I deliberately review God’s presence in my life, I can dwell in the memories of His ever-abiding presence.

4-16-13 Flat FaithAn Eternal Perspective

As I went through my battle with boredom and my struggle with flat faith, another unexpected change took place within me. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, my perspective began to change. What once was more of focus on the here and now has turned toward more of an eternal focus.

Kathy also talks about how “living with an eternal perspective can generate an excitement and passion your faith has been missing.” As we remember who gave us our resources and as we use periodic self-evaluation to foster an eternal perspective, we can discover a “consistent eternal perspective” that leads us to “fulfillment and excitement in the things that last beyond the physical.”

A key element to maintaining and increasing an eternal perspective lies with obedience. Kathy notes that “obedience keeps the lines of communication open and fosters our dependence on God. Disobedience builds walls and cultivates stubborn independence from God.”

As I learn obedience and as the Holy Spirit fosters an eternal perspective in me, my faith will grow to be healthy and vibrant. This journey has developed a desire in me to leave, as Kathy puts it so well, my “safe faith” my “flat and dry” faith behind and to have it replaced with a “risky faith – a faith that yields all to God,” a faith that is “ready to burn.”

Thank you for taking this journey with me through my battle with boredom and struggle with flat faith. The Holy Spirit has certainly led me through the exact journey I needed to take. I pray the same happened for you!

DISCUSSION: How is the Holy Spirit working in your life to create “a faith that yields all to God”?

Note: Unless otherwise indicated, quotes are taken from Fed Up with Flat Faith by Kathy Howard. Also, be sure to heck out Kathy’s guest posts Flat Spots Here and There – Part I and Flat Spots Here and There – Part II.

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20 thoughts on “Battling Boredom: My Struggle with a Flat Faith – Part V

  1. Pingback: Battling Boredom: My Struggle with a Flat Faith – Part II | Struggle to Victory

  2. Some of the suggestions you give resonate in me Kari. The variety in sameness for example. I look forward to my Encounter Time (what I call it) most of the time, but do shake it up from time to time. I add other devo books to read. I try to journal most days. But I also don't force it. I also realize I need "me time." I find that mostly by cycling. I know my faith tends to get flat if I am not spending time on my bike. I need the exercise. I don't multi-task very well (like not at all) so I can't say I pray while I ride, but there have been times clarity has come while riding. I've enjoyed this series and the challenge you have given. Thanks.

    • I am so glad they are connecting with you and that you've enjoyed the series! I do much of what you mentioned in my quiet time too, and that really does help. But you make a great point in not pushing it. Letting the Holy Spirit determine the method and path is the best plan by far. I also completely understand what you're saying about exercise. I bike, run and do other forms of exercise (box, elliptical, softball, etc.) and am amazed at the clarity I get from God during these activities. I don't exactly pray then either, but I certainly feel His constant presence and end my sessions with tremendous Holy Spirit insight. Really, our brains can't multitask. They flip between tasks quickly, so much so that we think it's happening at the same time, but we don't actually do two things at once. That is why our results are usually poor when we try to do so. I said that to say, keep moving in your own, non-multitasking way, my friend!

  3. Kathy Howard sounds like a wise woman, Kari. I like the quotes you gave from her – and the red shoe picture is awfully fun! I like the idea of finding variety in our sameness. I think that could really help me out as I tend to get bored easily with my daily work. Will have to give it some thought and try to shake up the routine a bit! Thanks for the ideas.

    • She’s definitely wise. Have read two of her books and gotten a lot out of both. Have a dvd study of hers I am going to start in a couple of weeks too. Hope the tips continue to be helpful to you.

  4. I do think there is glory in doing the minutia of life; that which we think is common, repetitive, drudgery at times, and yes boring. I think the faithfulness that you go at those things carry over to all aspects of life. I think it is important to do what you are doing for those things take on more significance when seen against the backdrop of eternity. We do need to invest in relationships for that is where life is found. The triumphs and also the disappointments; but the richness that awaits those that invest wisely one with another is so fulfilling. I read somewhere someone was "gathering tinder" by writing down 3 things they were thankful for each day to have a 1000 at years end.

    • Great thoughts, Mark! Learning to do the ordinary in life absolutely carries over into every aspect of life. Unfortunately, I think many people are getting away from bothering with minutia. As we focus on eternity and realize the importance of every detail of our lives, we can get back to living for Christ in every, single second. Investing in others truly is where richness awaits, as our Lord so beautifully illustrates for us. The "gathering tinder" idea is a terrific one!

  5. Hi Kari, I wrote a response and then the computer did something and I don't think it went through. I am excited about continuing on your journey and seeing how you apply these principles to your life and how it helps you grow. I know that just having you share has helped me. I think maybe the Bible verses I have learned since very young, the praise songs and old hymns that are part of my built in "tinder" help me through. It seems when things get tough God will pop one of them into my head, or we will attend worship and it will be there. Yes, Mark, it is I who am working on gathering "tinder" by looking for things to be thankful for. I got that from the book, "One Thousand Gifts" that I strongly recommend to anyone. It really helped my perspective on life. Thanks Kari! keep up the good fight!

    • I am so glad this journey had been beneficial to you too. You are right about the old hymns and Bible verses learned (sometimes those are one and the same) being tinder to fuel our faith. I sometimes think I don’t remember much from my childhood church, but that’s about the time an old hymn or some liturgy will pop into my head. Good stuff!

  6. Great action oriented post! I have found connecting with other people of faith is essential. I make sure to stay connected with those in my inner circle and other important relationships. Keep writing great posts!

    • Thanks, Dan. While I tend toward being a loner, I am learning how vital connecting with others is so very important. And, the more I study scripture, that importance becomes even more clear. In my mind, it's just not an option.

  7. When all else fails listen for the silence which can reveal God is watching over you even in the stillness of what we may find as boring. Great commentary Kari…

  8. Fantastic series, Kari. I like your statements about finding variety in sameness and keeping an eternal perspective the most. I often ponder how Joseph must have felt while in prison. I'm sure I would have been a colossal brat. The whining would have been over the top. Yet from an eternal perspective, how different his time looks.

    • Thanks, Melanie. Keeping an eternal perspective maybe should really be developing an eternal perspective. At least, based on Joseph's example, I think it's something that grows in and through us over time. I know that my perspective of eternity has evolved as my faith evolves, if that makes sense. Thanks for mentioning the Joseph example. It got me to think of this in a different way. And, I totally get the whining and brat comment. I wish I could say I don't have personal experience with this, but I think I may be the queen. An eternal perspective definitely alters that perspective.

  9. I love the concept of gathering tinder. I often will write prayer requests down on note cards and flip through them as I pray. When God answers a prayer, I can keep that notecard. I can thumb through them and be reminded of God's answers to my prayer – and it's changed my outlook on life so many times.

    • This is a terrific idea, Loren. I write prayer requests in my journal but struggle going back to read through and find them. This would be a great blog post topic, I think.

  10. Pingback: Battling Boredom: My Struggle with a Flat Faith – Part III | Struggle to Victory

  11. Pingback: Battling Boredom: My Struggle with a Flat Faith – Part I | Struggle to Victory

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