Life in Paradise—Will It Be Boring?
“THE two foes of human happiness are pain and boredom.” Do you agree with that opinion of a 19th-century philosopher? Most people have been bored at times, but why?
Boredom is associated with “dullness, repetition, or tediousness,” “a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction.” It often results from work or activity that does not stimulate or satisfy. But it is also true that boredom is a subjective state. What is boring to one person may be fascinating to another.
Will Everlasting Life Be Boring?
In contrast with man’s present situation, all those who attain life in the promised Paradise will be in tune with their setting and its Maker. Why? Because they will receive an adequate education to prepare them for an interesting and fruitful life in a Paradise environment. How do we know that? Because the prophet Isaiah was inspired to write: “The earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.” Yes, knowledge of Jehovah, mankind’s supreme Benefactor, will be the key to real enjoyment of everlasting life on a Paradise earth.—Isaiah 11:9.
All the earth in perfection will reflect the marvelous qualities of the Great Creator. Obedient mankind will have a deep love of God and therefore a desire to know and understand his ways and wisdom as epitomized on earth. Even today, imperfect men marvel as they study the wonders and complexity of nature. Yet even the greatest expert in any field is never satisfied—he always wants to know more. And there is always more to know! Man’s intelligence and insatiable curiosity are such that everlasting life will always be interesting!—1 John 4:7, 8.
An illustration of this, even under present imperfect conditions, is the attitude of 90-year-old Andrés Segovia, the world-famous classical guitarist. Does he find life boring? He still travels the world and gives concerts. Although he has seen world-weariness in others, “he is too ebullient, entirely too absorbed by his work to be weary.” He himself stated: “I read and study history, philosophy, art in all its disciplines and music.” Yes, there is still so much to learn. But think how much more there will be to learn in a perfect earthly Paradise! And with the joyous prospect of everlasting life restored, mankind will have time to do it.
The case of Andrés Segovia also illustrates another point—man’s potential for knowledge. As psychologist Peter Russell wrote in The Brain Book: “Within our own heads lies one of the most complex systems in the known universe. . . . No human being has ever come anywhere near to using its full potential.” In a limited life span of maybe 70 or 80 years, the brain’s potential remains virtually untapped. As Russell says: “It is frequently stated that we use only 10 percent of our full mental potential. This, it now appears, is rather an overestimate. We probably do not use even 1 percent—more likely 0.1 percent or less.” Imagine what the human brain will be capable of in Paradise without the pressures of sickness and aging!
A Thousand-Year Project
It has to be acknowledged that life for many today is boring simply because they are locked into a routine that allows for little variety or stimulus of the mind. But when the Bible speaks of everlasting life under God’s Kingdom rule by Christ, it is referring to a life-style that modern man has never known. First of all, this Kingdom government has, not a five-year schedule as some modern states have, but a thousand-year-long provision, just as a start! That purpose is expressed in various parts of the Bible and offers a fascinating prospect of varied activities, all of which will be upbuilding and creative.—Revelation 20:1-7.
There will be so much to do and so much to learn, along with strong motivation for both, that “boredom” will be a forgotten word. For example, Jehovah has promised that he will “bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” (Revelation 11:18) That means that the ruined earth will have to be cleaned up. Just think of the enormous task of restoring the earth to its former pristine beauty and purity—clearing out slums and overbuilt areas; purifying the earth’s rivers and waters of pollution. Love for God and neighbor will motivate obedient men and women to participate joyfully in this great work.
A Program of Building, Planting and Educating
Logically a Paradise setting cannot include the housing abuses that exist today. Who really wants to live in cramped conditions in decaying buildings, shantytowns or even on the streets? Most would delight to have a home of their own and land to cultivate! That is God’s promise to those who show their loyalty to him now. The final result will be a Paradise earth inhabited by happy people, satisfied with a meaningful life, deriving joy from serving others.—Acts 20:35.
God has guaranteed “new heavens and a new earth” that will mean a complete change of living conditions for millions of people. Isaiah prophesied: “And they will certainly build houses and have occupancy; and they will certainly plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. . . . For like the days of a tree will the days of my people be; and the work of their own hands my chosen ones will use to the full.”—Isaiah 65:17-23; 2 Peter 3:13.
These promises had a minor fulfillment in the restoration of the Jews to their land in 537 B.C.E. They are having a far greater fulfillment in a spiritual way in this 20th century, and they give indications of what life will be like during the Millennial Rule of Christ’s Kingdom over the earth. Now when we analyze Isaiah’s words we immediately see that they imply meaningful activity, creative work. This building and planting program will last for a long time because housing will be needed not just for the Armageddon survivors but also for the billions who will return progressively during the resurrection. What endless possibilities there will be for architectural initiative and variety of design!—Revelation 16:14-16; 21:3, 4.
Just think of what the resurrection itself implies. Your ancestors will be raised from the dead. Your genealogy will unfold before your very eyes! You will be able to trace your roots and origin, not from dry records, but by talking with your resurrected forebears. That certainly will not be boring!—John 5:28, 29.
In addition, during the Thousand Year Rule of Christ’s Kingdom a worldwide educational program will be carried out to bring the resurrected ones up to date on the fulfillment of God’s purposes toward the earth and what they must do in order to merit life forever. Doubtless Jehovah will reveal new instructions suited to mankind’s changed circumstances. The people will then be judged by the laws and instructions in the “scrolls” opened during Christ’s Millennial Reign.—Revelation 20:12.
Using the Brain’s Potential
Will life be boring, then, during the Thousand Year Rule and thereafter? Remember the brain’s marvelous potential and compare what you now know with what there is to know.
For example, how many animals, plants and insects can you name or describe from personal experience? Twenty? Fifty? A hundred? For some city dwellers, out of touch with nature, that can be a revealing challenge. Yet one biologist writes: “As many as 5 million different kinds of organisms share the biosphere [consisting of living creatures and their environment].” How many of those five million kinds of earth dwellers can you name? For example, how many different kinds of insects have you seen in your lifetime? There are more than 700,000 classified species! And what about the marvelous variety of birds with their diverse plumage, design and songs? How many can you recognize? Yet there are 8,600 living species of birds. Where would man be without trees? We rely on them for food, shade, timber and fuel. How long would it take you to get to know all the 20,000 different kinds of trees?
Yet these are only a few of the thousands of fascinating subjects that intrigue man. (Compare Job, chapters 38 and 39.) Their variety and depth present no problem for our brain capacity. In effect, we have a brain designed with an endless potential. Therefore, mankind, blessed with an active and inquiring mind, will have no room for boredom. What we need, however, is enough life to match the brain’s potential. And that is precisely God’s promise for obedient mankind—endless life on a Paradise earth.—John 17:3; Revelation 22:1, 2.
Eternity Not Boring
But yet another Paradise prospect presents itself—getting to know the whole earth, little by little. There will be no national boundaries, no restrictions to travel. Gone will be the narrow nationalistic, racial and tribal mentalities. All will recognize that they belong to the one, united human family. What a joy it will be to travel and gradually get to know our millions of “brothers” and “sisters” dwelling in peace around the earth. That will be a source of endless joy—not boredom!
Jehovah’s promises and purposes will be brought to complete fulfillment regarding this earth: “The meek ones will eat and be satisfied; those seeking him will praise Jehovah. May your hearts live forever. All the ends of the earth will remember and turn back to Jehovah. And all the families of the nations will bow down before you.” If you wish to be among those meek ones who will live forever, feel free to contact Jehovah’s Witnesses or the publishers of this magazine. Without cost your questions will be answered and you too may have the hope of everlasting life in a Paradise earth!—Psalm 22:26, 27; Titus 1:2.
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How many types of birds, animals, fish and plants do you know? In Paradise there will be time to learn about all of them