Thursday, July 3, 2008

Unshrink Your World

Took the kids to the swimming pool today. It was a mad house. As we were lathering up the sunscreen, Logan looked at me with woeful eyes and said, "I forgot my goggles."

Fifteen minutes later, seven-year-old Kaden came up to me, "Mom, can you get me any goggles?" I told him I couldn't. He said, "I need some . . . like I NEED."

Isn't it funny how our world can shrink down to our point of discomfort? If something doesn't feel good or stretches us a little too much, it becomes our point of need.

We aren't good at enduring things beyond a certain comfort level. What does that say about us, about our characters?

It's easy to be self-centered. Who doesn't want to be served and fawned over? But is that where we're supposed to live? It certainly inhibits growth.

I was listening to James Dobson interview Archibald Hart about his book Thrilled to Death: How the Endless Pursuit of Pleasure Is Leaving Us Numb.

He said our need to be constantly stimulated can actually create a condition called anhedonia which is the inability to experience pleasure and can lead to depression.

Dr. Hart states that one of the best things we can do for our kids is to let them become bored.

I perked up when I heard that. My kids would say I'm excelling in that department this summer.

It's easy to focus on what excites and stimulates us and want some more heaping portions of it. (Okay, I admit I visited Cold Stone two days in a row and it was so good I ordered the bigger size the second day.) But where are we when it comes to humbly serving those around us?

It takes sacrifice and strength to put others needs and desires ahead of our own. Who doesn't want the biggest slice of cake? I know I'm not the only one raising my hand here.

We don't need to sign up for every committee or join a non-profit, we just need to adjust our mindset a degree or two (or a hundred) and be watchful. Look up from our own point of discomfort and think of those around us.

That might even be the under ten crowd that drives us crazy before noon and needs their goggles to go swimming.

You'll be amazed at the blessings that come back to you.


  1. Sherri
    Shawn and I were just talking last night about summer and the kids.
    Rick is about every night saying what are we doing tonight can I go here can I do this. (not even including the day) We both said its good not to always have a plan just chill and be bored. (as you said) Again its nice to know its some of the same things other parents are going through.
    Leanne H

  2. Been thinking along these lines quite abit lately. The younger generation (like my children) have little concept of what being quiet and calm is even about. They need constant attention and constant stimulus. Sadly, they miss so much of what the world has to offer them. They never seem to notice the beauty all around us. I remember when we would be on deputation, traveling all over the USA, passing places like the Grand Canyon, and the kiddos would be asleep and had no real interest in seeing the beauty we were passing. To this day, I love going to new places and experiencing new things.
    Too often we are so wrapped up in ourselves that we forget about the wonders God created for us to enjoy. We are blind to the needs of others. I remember when my son first went to the USA after finishing high school. He said, "Mom, the people up here don´t know how to be friends. They are too busy being selfish." It was quite a revelation from the mouth of an 18 year old.

    Blessings from Costa Rica

  3. Leanne,
    It was a relief to hear Dr. Hart say it's good for kids to be bored. It took away the guilt that I wasn't doing enough to create a fun summer for them. I don't think there's enough we could do as I've even heard my kids say they're bored an hour after I took them swimming! Goodness!

  4. Kathie,
    I liked hearing what you shared. I, too, love to visit new places. My soul expands at the beauty of God's creation as well as enjoying the marvels of man's inventions. And you have quite an insightful son.