I’ve never been one to cry, “I’m bored!” or “I’m lonely!” My mind is always thinking and planning and creating. I seem to aways be surrounded by people and have often jokingly said, “I could try lonely–I enjoy being by myself!” There have been times when I have felt “alone” but not “lonely” very often. Recently I have been through a recovery period following major surgery. The first week I spent three and one-half days in the hospital and the balance of the week just coming out of the fog. The second week I tried to remember how to lift my foot off the floor and what it felt like to not have pain. The third week my body began to recover but my emotions dropped to an all-time low. I longed for a benevolent giant who would scoop me up and protect me from all the insecurity I felt. (Where is King Kong when you need him?) The fourth week all systems began to normalize and I returned to normal activities with purpose and confidence. I answered all the emails, returned telephone calls, worked on next year’s conferences, prepared my next two sermons, purchased supplies for the church office online, and numerous other busy activities that would catch me up from the time away from my office. In addition, I watched all the good preachers and some of the bad ones on TV, and began to savor all the chic-flick re-runs. You know…Sweet Home Alabama, Miss Congeniality, The Wedding Planner, 27 Dresses, Legally Blond, etc.,etc. Finally, on Thursday afternoon after putting dinner in the oven I made my way to my favorite chair. It was at least two hours before the family would be home. I began to surf the TV listings for another movie to watch, thinking that TMC or AMC would surely have just what I wanted! Nothing! So disappointing and I hated to admit it but I was “bored” and “lonely”. I defaulted to a mildly interesting movie with the main character being a long-haired, guy named Rambo. Who names their kid “Rambo” I wondered. It didn’t take long to realize Rambo was being pursued by the Army, the Navy, the Marines and every other division of the military. “What did this guy do?” I wondered. I noticed quickly that there was lengthy periods of no dialogue at all. Was this a throwback to the old silent movies? As I watched and wondered, Rambo would swiftly turn his head in the direction of a perceived sound and say, “Huh?” while gasping. Perhaps the screen writers were on strike during the production of this movie? Rambo seemed to have the ability to dodge every bullet that came his way, render his attackers helpless, collect their weapons and leap through the deep foliage like a flash. He finally settled down to whittle on a tree limb, in silence of course. Then he climbed a tree and hung like Tarzan awaiting his next attackers. “Why don’t you just use all those guns and ammo you took from those trying to capture you?”, I wondered. In just seconds I heard the scream of a wild animal and realized that Rambo had speared a wild hog and was taking him somewhere to roast for dinner. “That’s the biggest pork kabob I’ve ever seen”, I said to my silent audience of no one. I’m not only watching this I thought, I commenting on it to myself! How bored can you get? Rambo was just wiping the wild hog from his scruffy facial hair when he was discovered by a group of soldiers. They wasted no time before blasting the entrance of Rambo’s make-shift BBQ pit with a grenade. Poor Rambo! Now he’s trapped in a cave or old mining shaft with no means of escape, or so I thought. In the midst of all the fire and crumbling walls, Rambo manages to light a torch, secure some kind of oil, rip his shirt off and tear it into pieces that he could dip in the strange oil. Where did this guy go to school? I would have been in the dirt crying for help but Rambo is intently looking for the airflow that is feeding the fire, plotting his escape. Commercial time and wouldn’t you know it…insurance for your funeral so your loved ones won’t be inconvenienced by your departure. “Great! Just what I need to consider after a hospital event.” Finally, the next commercial starts and you guessed it…the Scooter Store is offering me a power chair to help me with my limited mobility! No thanks! My walker is just fine! Please!..let’s please get back to this character named Rambo. Still no dialogue, but I can comprehend that Rambo is making his way through the rocks and crevices to eventual freedom. I found myself quietly cheering for his victory as I have a tendency to root for the underdog. Then it happened…I thought I would toss my cookies…but I couldn’t leave Rambo in this dilemma alone. Rats, big rats, the size of armadillos jump on his bare back and began to lunch. He rolled down into the watery ditch below and they followed, squealing and attacking. Rambo made his way to safety on a ledge above the watery infestation. He said,” Huh? Huh? Huh?” about six times and groaned deeply, very deeply. I thought about fainting. I couldn’t tell who was in worse shape, me or Rambo! It took several minutes for me to come back to reality and by then Rambo had made it to freedom through a narrow opening to the outside where the grass was green, the sky was blue but soldiers were still searching for him. I jumped up, grabbed my walker and start toward the kitchen to check on dinner. “Ann”, I said to myself, “You need counseling!”
Wonderful Counselor, (Isaiah 9:6) You are my counselor! Help me during this time of boredom and loneliness to seek you for comfort and fulfillment. Replace my boredom with a passion and a quest for knowledge of you. Take my loneliness and saturate me with your presence. Forgive me for seeking pleasure and satisfaction from the world instead of joy and contentment from you. In Jesus name, amen.