1 Corinthians 13:11 It’s like this: when I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I became an adult, my thoughts grew far beyond those of my childhood, and now I have put away the childish things.
A Word of Hope
In my earlier life, I had a partner who believed and honored a certain value about feelings. He used to quickly correct me when I would make a claim that I would work on feeling differently about this or that, most of the time in regards to people I loved or disliked. He was right. Sometimes, you either like a person or dislike them without much thought at all. Over time your feelings may change, but we often just feel the way we feel.
Some food needs salt or gravy. Other dishes are fine the way they come. It’s all a matter of conjecture. Our tastes evolve over time. I’m not sure what I would think about the taste of baby food; I haven’t eaten it in a while, but still I love the smells I remember from my grandparents’ house when I was a small child, preferences I doubtlessly acquired as a baby.
Another shared value in my former partner’s wisdom had to do with the grass being greener in another lawn. He used to say, I hate my job on some days but I know if I left it and did something similar elsewhere, I would likely be trading the things I hate for another set of complaints “over there.”
He has stuck with his job that he took just before finishing college. He’s held lots of positions in it, both as a worker bee and supervisor. Sometimes he would become bored and want to move on, but he was always able to find a great deal of variety just where he was. His dependability awarded him with lots of promotions.
God is so much like that mindset, to me. Just about the time I’m bored with my own theological understanding, I discover a new aspect of the divine. The church of my childhood taught that we shouldn’t change or evolve our understanding of things that are unique to God. Now I believe it’s about discovering new layers within the already familiar. The pure essence of a life in God well lived is to look deeper in order to understand the Creator and the created, even if we sometimes experience boredom with it.
My values have changed over time. I’ve flipped political parties, religion, favorite authors, and faith systems my entire life. When I look back, I realize the grass was always greener owing to my own boredom. Restlessness and searching out of that boredom has kept my personal concept of God fresh for decades. For me, that childhood God of constant judgment has become the grownup God of infinite inclusion.
What greener grass about God and your world will you discover in your boredom? Take a look back at the times in your life when things changed for you. How many routines did you simply grow tired of before a radical shift occurred? Enemies can become friends; hated Brussels sprouts, become delicacies. And maybe, if you allow yourself to look deeply enough, God will become a hue of green you never dreamed existed.
Thank you for the things in my life that have bored me and for the new worlds they have inspired me to explore.
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare