It's the sad plea of every little kid during summer vacation: "I'm bored."
We have all said it occasionally, and if we're honest we'll admit we can easily fall back into that habit as adults.
Boredom is a choice. When our children were younger and they tried to make their "boredom" our problem we would reply, "Remember, when you're bored… you're boring." In other words, you have plenty of options, so use the brain God gave you and get on with it! Get some exercise, read, play, explore, invent!
Today there's probably a parade of experts who would criticize such parental guidance for being "insensitive," but our kids turned out just fine.
Every day we are faced with choices, and more often smart Americans who ought to know better are embracing the wrong ones. Sometimes it's because we're picking an easy way out or because we're just worn out. But choices come at us every moment, day in and day out.
We can choose to be informed. That takes work, but it's essential in our world. Ignoring the facts doesn't change truth. With online resources and the latest electronic gadgets there's more news and information at our fingertips than ever before. Still, it's increasingly easier to waste valuable time doing less than productive things in cyberspace.
Of course it's not healthy to absorb only "hard news" 24/7, although in my line of work it's hard to choose otherwise. Even so, we need to choose other options. It's good to take a breather, to have a day of rest or take a vacation. We can even decide to take little mental getaways or maybe even a "power nap" during the day, but hopefully not while on the company time clock.
When it comes to our moods, we choose to be happy… or not.
Sometimes circumstances overwhelm us and direct moods for a while, but at some point it's our choice to grab something positive to adjust our thinking.
Choosing to medicate or put an emotional "band aid" on life's challenges won't last long. Deciding to try to do the right thing always makes more sense. At least it's a goal worth pursuing.
Path to dependence
I sense that Americans have gotten used to having others make choices for them. The recession caused more people to depend on Uncle Sam for support, and certainly many are thankful for occasional "safety nets." But focusing on fear and having long-term addiction to government largesse can seduce some into believing there's no more choosing, just "getting what I deserve, for free… no responsibilities." That's a path that leads to serfdom.
If "joy comes in the morning," and it does, we can choose to be excited about each day God has given us, despite the problems and challenges. Happiness isn't something that simply happens, so it's partly up to each of us to spread it, starting with excitement and enthusiasm. Set your mind on these things.
This is the point where I'll be asked, "How can you be happy and excited when there's so much pain in the world?" I hear you, but I don't believe God wants us to wallow in the messes. Yes, mourn with those who mourn, rejoice with those who rejoice, but do something important daily. Press toward the goal with the talents God gave you. That thought, in itself, leads to a more cheerful heart and happier days.
When we're happier, we are bolder in our ways and more confident. That can lead to more sharing of the Good News, in spite of the daily dose of the bad. If we share more we're loving others more by interacting with them, and enjoying our lives together in our community.
Pursue liberty and freedom
As the election season heats up and political candidates and issues are considered, I am increasingly concerned that too many of us have decided to be like the little kids, just out of school for vacation, already whining about being "bored."
I have lost count of the number of friends who say things such as, "I'm so burned out on the election already… it doesn't matter."
That's a very sad choice, and an irresponsible one. If people who are usually in the game choose to opt out and take their "political involvement ball" home, the easier it is for the other side to win. Liberty and freedom lose.
Summer's a great time to think about these things and be thankful for all the choices we have in life. I know that I have chosen life through Christ, and that thought alone helps me decide to take on every day with all the energy God can give me.
Choosing to be involved in our country, especially in times such as these, is important and essential. And there's absolutely nothing "boring" about that.
Larson is a veteran Southern California radio/television personality and media consultant. He can be heard daily in San Diego on KCBQ 1170AM from 6 to 9 a.m. and on KPRZ 1210AM from 2 to 4 p.m. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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