The words of Jeremiah 29:11 are so familiar that you might be tempted to rush past the significance of them: God knows the plans He has for you. That means that God made certain plans for you. But it can be so tempting to take matters into your own hands, especially when His plans don’t seem to be coming into reality quickly enough. As one teen described it recently, “I need to remind myself that His plan for me isn’t going to slip away just because I don’t see it yet.”
Keeping Room Tips:
Ask God to give you patience and trust in the stability and timing of His overall plan for you. (Ps. 73:23-24; Jer. 29:11-13; Hab. 2:3)
Ask God to help you be satisfied in the individual He made you to be, along with the plan He custom made for you. (Ps. 139:13-16; Is. 49:1b; Jer. 1:5; Lk. 1:26-38; Eph. 2:10)
Ask God to help you see and have interest in all the small detailed plans He has for you now, while you wait for more to be revealed later. (Ps. 16:11; Ps. 118:24; Ps. 139:16; Jer. 29:11-13)
Ask God to help you resist the temptation to try to make your plans happen, and help you to instead focus on Him and serving others while He makes His plans happen. (Ps. 25:3; Mt. 11:29; Mt. 22:37; Mt. 26:39)
Ask God to give you relationships with others who will objectively help you discover what His plans are for you. (Mt. 1:19-23; Acts 9:10-19; 1 Tim. 1:18)
Ask God to help you understand and endure all the hard parts that He incorporates into His plans for you. (Gen. 50:20; Job 1:21; Dan. 1:3; Rom. 5:3-4; Rom. 8:18; Rom. 8:28; 2 Cor. 12:9)
Ask God to help you believe that He will make His good plans happen. (Ps. 138:8; Prov. 3:5-6; Prov. 16:9; Is. 55:11; Jer. 29:14; 1 Thess. 5:24; 2 Thess. 1:11)
Boredom, a dull mental state which can be caused by lack of external or internal stimulation, is an issue for everyone. What varies from person to person is 1) how often you face boredom and 2) what you do in order to alleviate it. The issue of boredom can become problematic if you deal with it on a frequent basis, or if you don’t realize the ways that boredom is driving some of your choices and activities.
Keeping Room Tips:
In case you have Boredom in Disguise:
*Boredom is sometimes masked as I’m-not-in-the-mood or I-don’t-feel-like-it. Instead of giving in to those apathetic feelings, acknowledge that boredom is the real issue.
*Purpose to push through the seemingly boring task, but address your boredom by adding variety to the task. Think creatively of ways that you can enhance your atmosphere even while pushing through a boring activity.
*Examine your typical activities and search for ways that boredom might be preventing you from being as productive as you could be. (How often are you checking social media because you’re bored and want to avoid the task in front of you?) Additionally, boredom could be leading you to seek inappropriate stimuli to relieve it. (Are you really hungry, or just eating because you’re bored?). Even daily Bible reading time might feel boring to you, but that feeling is keeping you away from something that’s good for you. Therefore even while facing boredom, make positive decisions anyway so that you can experience success, which can actually reduce future episodes of boredom.
If you experience Frequent Boredom:
*Boredom can be chronic for some people – especially in situations that can’t change (like school or work).
*Understand that perspective and planning are the keys to managing the boredom you so often face.
*Accept that although you may experience a lot of boredom at work, school etc., it doesn’t help to constantly wish you didn’t have to be there. (Are your thoughts about your situation actually making it that much more boring?)
*Plan ahead for your boredom by thinking of ways to break up tasks or to implement creative and new ways to accomplish tasks.
*Create a balance between having enough routine to be efficient, with enough variety to combat severe boredom.
*Set up a system to reward yourself each time you push through boredom and get your work done.
*Engage in healthy and active relationships (starting with Jesus) to give your life more fulfillment overall. (Are you focusing more often on your life being boring than about how you can enthusiastically and lovingly serve the Lord and others with your gifts?)
*Take time to verbalize your struggle with boredom with someone who will give you encouragement to stay the course in managing it well.
*Make appointments with yourself to dream and concentrate on your life’s purpose so that you are reminded of what you’re working toward, even in the mundane.
*God is never idle or bored. Look for the ways He is moving and depend on Him to mix things up for you. “See, I’m doing a new thing! Be utterly amazed.” (Is. 43:19; Hab. 1:5).