There are many people in this world who lead a boring life. That is to say, they have nothing going for themselves. They have few if any interests outside of going to work and coming home and slouching in front of the television all night. They love to eat, and to gratify their senses in one form or another. Some will say that's plenty, but usually that formula isn't strong in including Our Lord.

People who love God and those who want to love Him. Or to put it another way, God wants them to love Him, and those folks enthusiastically said, YES, Lord, I do too! Either way, they have an overriding sense of purpose that doesn't allow them to lead a boring life - when God is actively a part of your life's goals, your life is no longer boring!

By now you're going to ask yourself, how does this writer know all that, and why should I care? Well, I know this because God has been active in my life for years and the more I get to know Him, the more I desire to get to know Him better. He is my Savior - His ultimate sacrifice on the Cross is my ticket to getting to know Him better. He gave his life for us, his sisters and brothers, so that we might have the opportunity to be with Him in paradise forever. Remember that man on the adjacent cross - he admitted to his sin, and had the humility and c0ntrition to ask Jesus to pardon him. And Jesus told him that he would be with him in paradise. (see Luke 23:42)

People who are mentally bored with life, who have little going on in their lives and in their thoughts, they are more vulnerable to temptation. The devil seeks out people who are idle. "Idleness is the devils head cushion" - that's right, prayer works! Prayer is our best defense against the wiles of Satan!

When you are talking to God, no one can get a word in edgewise! So keep praying. Don't know what to say to God? Tell Jesus how much you love Him. Tell him about your day, what's been happening to you since you got up that morning. Some people call this conversational prayer ... it doesn't matter what it is - as long as you are communicating, as long as your mind is busy with something! Right!?

In time, He will answer you, not so much by a resounding voice as in subtle ways. You will be doing something in the kitchen, and suddenly you will get an inspiration that seems like a turning point - if it's something good, then that thought came from Jesus. If it's something bad, watch out - Satan is also good at trying to imitate God's goodness with the purpose of getting you to come over to his side. These are not fairy tales - it's all true!

If you follow Jesus in your mind and thoughts, there will come a time that you will feel extremely peaceful, and you will have no problems being alone. Your mind has been disciplined and you can take care of yourself without getting tempted. But make no mistake, the devil is never far away. Misguided people say, sometimes, "what devil?" Be careful of people who say such a thing. They are in deep trouble. Especially in the world today, people no longer are able to tell right from wrong. Or they don't want to even try to discern if something they contemplate on doing is right or wrong. They don't care. And, they don't care about those around them, they don't care for their loved ones anymore and such people are spiritually dead. There are no spiritual interests anymore. They are lost! But they are not forever lost... everyone can be restored to spiritual health and spiritual growth who desires to be. This takes effort, contrition, great love, and most of all, God's Grace. It is true that God gives us his Grace, but to a large degree it needs to be earned. Interior conversion every minute and second will keep the Grace flowing, and will keep Jesus near. Jesus is our brother!

Tough guys and gals, or at least who consider themselves tough, you may be less eager to talk about love for God, for anyone - but I've known some very tough characters who desired to be loved by God and to love Him back and were very open in telling me about that.

God doesn't come into your life when you're belligerently ordering him to come. God wants to see some humility and meekness, because He was meek and humble. God is a gentleman; he is not a ruffian, or a lout. So don't treat him as one! And, say please!

Many people pray by saying "I want, I want, I want" - let's make that "Please, Lord, please forgive all my sins and shortcomings this day and always, I really need your help with .... " Be humble! God acts only when there is no alternative in our lives. Let me explain that. There was a French bishop by the name of Jacques-Benigne Bossuet (1627-1704), who proclaimed, "When God desires a work to be wholly from His hand, he reduces all to impotence and nothingness, and then He acts." When we are weak and our defenses are low (e.g. impotent), then God heals us. I interpret that to mean - when we are so detached from the problem at hand, and meekly ask Our Lord ... I really need Your help as I have no other place to go. There is no alternative, please, Lord, please heal me..." When you are beyond "bargaining with God" He will heal us!

Maybe I am too conservative in this line of thinking, many people feel God heals despite our lack of contrition and when we feel a need for Him to come to us, and certainly that could be, but I've always felt that Bossuet was right - I read this proclamation a long time ago, when I was still struggling with unbelief.

Do keep praying! Get away from idleness and mental laziness. Fight boredom with prayer, you will never regret it. Peace!

Fred Schaeffer, SFO - January 31, 2009