When I first met my future husband, I couldn't see him or talk to him enough. I was enthralled by him and talked to others about him incessantly ("Scott would love that shirt . . . . Scott thinks . . . Scott says . . . Scott . . . Scott . . . Scott . . . ). Almost every minute was crowded by thoughts of him. And when we'd leave each other's presence, I'd count the moments until we could be reunited.
Those feelings remind me of when I first became a Christian. I faithfully read my Bible. I prayed often. My mind was crowded with thoughts of God and I talked to others about him incessantly.
But then, as so often happens in relationships, I grew distant. To be honest, I got used to God. I knew all the Bible stories and could recite them in my sleep. The sermons I heard felt like restatements of things I'd heard a million times before. My prayers stalled at asking for and discussing the same things over and over. And while I still loved God and followed him, the thrill was gone. I felt old in my faith; dusty, in a rut.
At one point as I sat on a beach overlooking Lake Michigan, the reality of my situation overwhelmed me and I cried, "I miss you, God. I miss the joy and excitement of knowing and serving the living God. Why am I so . . . bored?"
Acknowledging the Elephant in the Room
How many people do you know who will say, "Frankly, I'm bored with God"? Most probably won't because they think lightning will strike them! But I've talked with and watched enough Christians to know many of them feel that way, even if they won't admit it.
Acknowledging my own spiritual boredom that day on the beach became a significant turning point in my relationship with God. I think it was so powerful because I was finally honest with myself, and with my Creator. It's funny that I hid that truth deep inside for so long, thinking that if I didn't acknowledge it then no one—including God!—would know. But it was only when I finally got to the end of myself and spoke the truth that God said, "Finally! Now I have something to work with. Let's get started!"
There's great power in acknowledging aloud what we're feeling about God—even when those feelings are less than enthusiastic. In the movie The Apostle, Eulis "Sonny" Dewey, played by Robert Duvall, is a preacher who discovers his wife is having an affair. In one of the most emotional scenes in the movie, Sonny goes into a room, shuts the door, and has a loud argument with God, expressing every feeling, thought, and attitude toward his Creator. He lays everything out, bares it all, holds nothing back. It's honest and vulnerable and oh-so-raw. And it's beautiful—because it's real.