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The last town I see before driving down the back roads to my family’s home after a 4 hour drive from college. I could always bypass the town in favor of taking the highway but this small quiet town marks the start of my journey away from home and the comfort of finally being back.

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On being boring (you are not boring)

She was sad because some people claimed she was boring.

Aside from thinking that no human being could actually be boring, since we all have problems and dreams, we all have projects we are working for, or trying to get better, or we might be just be trying to survive in a harsh world. But just that simple act of being alive, that alone by itself, it means you can’t be boring, at least not truly.

Everyone has their own story.

What might happen is that those human around a person might not enjoy their company, or might have trouble relating to them, but that doesn’t make anyone boring. Maybe they are telling their own story in a way that doesn’t help them. But that doesn’t make them boring.

Boring can be a situation, or an afternoon when you have nothing to do (because you ran out of ideas or energy, or maybe you aren’t trying). Boring can be a moment. But a person can’t be boring as a whole concept.

And her, oh please, she is not boring. On the contratry, she is amazing and brilliant! She is funny and smart, has so many stories to tell, has gone through a lot, and somehow still managed to get to a nice place in life.

But they say she is boring, because they can’t see her. Because it means making an effort. She is shy, and quiet, and doesn’t joke or voice her opinions that much. But then, she is there to work, not to be their entertainment.

I have found out that quiet people have so much to say, if you ask the right questions and you wait. If you give them a space to talk, an environment where they feel listened to. A place where they won’t be called silly or made feel like they need to be something they are not.

I’m not gonna claim I know how to listen, not at all. If anything, I’m a human chatterbox that doesn’t know when to stop, and fills the silences up. Who tries too much, and needs to learn better.

But I would never really say someone is boring and mean it. I would never joke about that.

I don’t know how to make her feel better, and I wish I could just tell all this to those assholes, angrily rant to them, and maybe teach them that they need to be more careful about what they say.

Words matters. Words can do more damage than you think.

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Go with me once again to familiar place.  It actually finds it’s roots in several places, and all of them have left marks on my life and made a huge difference in my life.

When I was a teenager, my youth minister taught us to spend time with God each day.  We learned that a quiet time can include prayer, reading the Bible, listening and note taking.  It should be an important part of our lives as it helps shape and strengthen us.  It did.  It has.  And there is more, much more, to come.

Early in my years as a pastor and a husband, I went to a meeting in the mountains of Georgia where I learned more about quiet time and the greatness of verses of the Bible in my heart.  An influential pastor stepped into my life and encouraged me to read a chapter of Proverbs each day.  That was life changing, this is something I have been sharing with others ever since.

Daily quiet time with God is a special part of my life, and I challenge you to have this time in your life as well.  For me it is most effective when I spend time before anything else happens in the day.  Often it sets the tone of the day.  Often it points to some things that will happen that day that would help my thinking and acting.  Literally having a daily quiet time will make you a much stronger person.

Therefore, I not only challenge you to continue or start having a daily quiet time, but I am going to give you the Proverb of the day, chapter 19.  The best way, I have learned, is to read the chapter that corresponds to the day.  It is February 19th, and this day I will read Proverbs 19.  It is not the only Scripture I will read today, but it is a great piece of my time with God.

Read on and may God help us be strong followers of Him… (I am giving you only a few verses from Proverbs 19; you can read the entire chapter on your own)

Proverbs 19  NLT

Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and a fool.

2 Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.

3 People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord…

5 A false witness will not go unpunished, nor will a liar escape…

8 To acquire wisdom is to love yourself; people who cherish understanding will prosper…

11 Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs…

16 Keep the commandments and keep your life; despising them leads to death.

17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord and he will repay you!

18 Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives…

20 Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.

21 You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail…

23 Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm…

27 If you stop listening to instruction, my child, you will turn your back on knowledge.

NOTE: I first shared this devotion in 2015, and it remains true today.

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The city is a circus and I want to be alone in a white room where none of these things can touch me. I want to be cold and detached, like an ice cube in a glass of water. My clothes drip from my body and my muscles ache with the effort of dragging myself through the days. I am drowning quietly and patiently. Watch me slip away.

~ Jessica Andrews, Saltwater: A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, January 14, 2020) 

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