Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Boring by Michael Kelley

Boredom seems to be an epidemic nowadays, from kids and teenagers to adults and elders. It's everywhere, isn't it? We are now programmed to want things done quickly and be entertained constantly with new stuff. There are a lot of things that betray it, really. 

In his book, Michael Kelley proposes a theory as to why boredom is such an issue lately, stating the fact that the real problem is our definition of significance. He believes ordinary is actually a myth. Significance can be found in the middle of the ordinary and mundane.
The first half of the book focuses on explaining his view on boredom and the myth of ordinary. As you move to the second half of the book, the author tackles boredom on a practical level, specifically focusing on the relevant areas of life such as: friendships, parenting, money management, work ethic, church and christian life. 

I enjoyed the book, it was an easy read. He doesn't really present new and never-heard-of ideas and perspectives on boredom. He mainly explains it from a biblical, christian perspective.
What I really liked were the relevant biblical illustrations presented in a catchy, graphic style. I also think the practical part of the book (the second half of it) was presented in an authentic way: with personal stories (which I always love in a book like this) which gave me the impression that Kelley actually struggled with the issues he presents here and he speaks from experience. In my perspective that's what makes these self-help sort of books relevant and worth reading.
I gave it 4 stars, mainly because I liked the way it approaches such a subject with simplicity and authenticity. I chose not to give it 5 stars because the writing was not impressive enough. 

Like I've mentioned before, he doesn't present his point of views and theories without the struggles that such a mindset involves. He mentions here the self-consciousness that hiders way too often the practice of thankfulness in specific areas of life. The solution he offers is Christ, focusing on Christ and thinking less about the "self" - removing the self from self-consciousness. The solution is acting towards making these thoughts captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10.3-5). 

The author's conclusion to his book is:
"Everything is the same, but everything is suddenly very different. That's what this book has been about - not escaping the ordinary, but reshaping our view of the ordinary in light of the extraordinary God. I hope this book, by God's grace, has helped you take a step toward removing the word "just" from your vocabulary: You're not just a mom. You're not just a teacher. You're not just a student, just a taxpayer, or just a church member. No one is who follows an extraordinary God."

:: Michael Kelley is an author, editor, and communicator whose previous works include Holy Vocabulary: Rescuing the Language of Faith and The Tough Sayings of Jesus. Born in Texas, Michael holds a Master of Divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. Michael and his wife have three children and live in Nashville, Tennessee. 


>> QUOTES <<
But there is no such thing as ordinary when you are following an extraordinary God. "Ordinary" is a myth. The only reason we think of something as ordinary is because we fail to look for and then grasp the massive work and presence of God in our lives. 
The problem is our definition of significance. People tend to believe that the pathway to significance is paved with the big, the showy, and the grand. The people who are most often lauded as influential are the ones doing the big, impressive things with their lives. Consequently, those same people cannot involve themselves in these mundane details of life. Indeed, the mundane details are like anchors that weigh a person down from the bigger and the better. So moving toward a life that matters involves moving past the details that don't. 
I have requested this book from B&H Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The ideas and opinions expressed here are my own. 

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