"45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground."
1Samuel 17:45-49 (emphasis added)
As I listened to one of my kids reading the story of David, the shepherd boy, this morning, I started thinking about David's many hours, days, and weeks of boredom and how it was to play such a profound role in his life.
He was a little boy who was left to tend the sheep in the fields. He had no television, tablets, or ipods. HA! He was just there to tend to the animals and to keep them safe. I can imagine him sitting under the shade of a tree, watching the sheep, and bored.out.of.his.mind. What did he do with his time? It seems that he practiced an instrument, wrote poetry, and honed his skills with stone and sling. Can you imagine how insignificant he must have felt out there in the fields day after day as the older brothers were taking on the "important" jobs in life? But, he faithfully prepared himself during those boring days (ie. boot camp) where the Lord had placed him.
As he practiced his instrument, he had no idea that he would later play before the king (or of the spear that would be thrown at him...haha).
As he poured out his heart in composition, he had no idea that thousands of years later, we would read his works for inspiration in our daily lives.
As he perfected his aim with a stone and sling, he had no idea he would use those skills to defeat a giant and save his people.
He faithfully sharpen his skills and later became the one the Lord used to calm the king, encourage generations, and defeat a giant. How differently the story would be if David had sat in the shade of a tree, DS in hand, playing his favorite games to pass the time of day. Would he have been prepared for the future God had for him?
As David later faced off against a real life giant, he had such amazing confidence in his skills. Yes, he was trusting God, but he also knew that he had developed the talents that God had given him and could confidently charge into battle knowing he had the skill needed. And, with God's help, he would win the battle.
Boredom is actually a fantastic tool in the lives of our children. Boredom is what makes kids get creative and practice long hours at instruments, reading, and sports. Boredom is what is needed to find and develop talents that just may have a profound impact on their adult lives. If we have activities every minute of the day, kids never learn how to entertain themselves or to develop their skill. So, when we allow our children to become bored, we are facilitating the honing of talents that will one day help them to win battles in their lives.
I realize that I am slamming technology but, as I have said before, I believe media is amoral. Just like Anakin used the force for good and evil, so can media be used for both. However, I believe it is a HUGE time waster! My kids do watch movies and play video games albeit in limited amounts. But, I felt challenged this morning as the Lord whispered in my ear.
Are we entertaining ourselves, afraid of becoming bored and never reaching our full potential?
It is definitely something to stop and evaluate.