Rhinos live a boring life. They are not social animals; they’re solitary creatures. Their visual field reaches only about 25 feet, so they’re not distracted by things they see. They go to the bathroom in the same spot, creating a dung pile the size of a Volkswagen, and they alternate between feeding and resting through the day and night. About the only time you see a rhino move is when he swings his penis in all directions, slinging urine everywhere to mark his territory. During the rare times when they aren’t eating or sleeping, you’ll find them getting a cool mud soak (their spa treatment) in some nasty, smelly place. These soaks help to protect the rhino from bugs, and also have the benefit of being a natural sunscreen. Rhinos spend most of their time standing still grazing, and you’ll see oxpecker birds sitting on them eating ticks and the tiny worms that cause rhino sores, and also warning the rhinos of danger. Rhinos have no desire to do anything but eat unless something threatens their safety. It’s like being the fat guy sitting on the couch eating a box of Krispy Kremes during a bad storm, waiting until the tornado siren blows before being willing to get up and move to safety. Boredom is an energy drainer.
Several years ago, an African veterinarian was sedating rhinos so that they could be examined and given vaccinations if needed. After a tranquilizer dart had hit one 4,000-pound rhino, the rhino quickly became irritated and was looking for someone or something to trample into the African sand. The vet ran, thinking he’d been identified by the rhino as the source of the shot in the butt. BIG mistake – the rhino came at him like a bulldozer. As the vet tried to escape, the rhino dropped his head and raised it between the man’s legs. Before he could jump out of the way, the rhino dropped and then raised his head with so much force that the horn went clear through the vet’s thigh. Lifting the 225-pound man off the ground again, he tossed him back on to the second horn like a sack of potatoes, snapping his spine. If that wasn’t enough torture, the rhino then tossed him into the air like a rag doll while going through a thicket of acacia thorn trees. The thorns of the acacia are as long as your finger, and sharp as a hypodermic needle. Before his body could hit the ground, the vet was skewered by thorns, suspending him face-up until his partner arrived to cut him out. After using the tools in their medical kit to close the gaping hole in his thigh, his partner called in a chopper to get him to safety. In a heartbeat, that lethargic, bored beast had become a man-killer.
Boredom is a two-horned killer. It can manifest itself through lethargy or through acting out. In some, boredom can look like laziness, causing a man to lose focus, shut down, or unplug from life and relationships. He may start sleeping excessively as a result of being depressed. Boredom can also cause a man to get caught up in something that makes him feel alive but is not good for him: overworking, overeating, excessive gaming, taking risks to get that adrenaline rush, giving in to sexual temptation, etc. Sin always feels like an immediate fix – that’s why it’s so attractive. The problem is, it leaves the man feeling even more worthless.
The result? Shame.