When I was little I had several higher profile vices. Among "little to no concern for others' feelings" and nestled beside "extreme desire for maternal rebellion" was perhaps the most insidious of my sins, though it often hid in the others' shadows.
Sheer and simple.
"Mooooooommmmm," my voice would ring out on any given day of the year. "I'm sooooo boooorrrreeedddd!"
My mother would wince. My siblings grated their teeth.
I had resigned myself from an early age that my life was destined for nothing more than a curling linoleum of experience. That each waking breath, at times, was a waning chronology bringing me unceasingly closer to the grave of existential demise. It was my cross at an early age and I took it up with unparalleled passion at times.
I was the kid with 1,001 hobbies growing up. They came and went. I poured myself into them and dropped them with equal fervor (my parents were saints for supporting all my ventures, btw). My curiosity for the present was matched only with my interest in the future.
This is where my love of road trips comes into play, I think.
So as the hourglass oozes life in 2008, bringing us closer to a new year – and with it my 25th birthday - I realize my youthful vice of old is still with me, a shadow of my soul, clinging close and in real ways impacting my life in the present.
"The boredom is strong with this one," Darth would say.
If I could amputate my soul I would try to cut that out of myself I think. Maybe cast it into an unsuspecting covey of swine. Instead of running off a cliff they would probably bore themselves to death. Maybe that would be less offensive to their owners. Hard to say.
But if I'm honest, a thing that scares me most about the future is the possibility of being bored. Of being uninspired and uncreative. Of being uncontrollably rooted in one unaltering place or way of life. Seriously. More than concerns over future wife, job, living location, etc., though it certainly affects those things. The fear gnaws like a Langolier on steroids, and it gnaws often.
And while I don't think my boredom sentiments are all wrong, there are particulars to repentant for, I think.
Some people wish for uniformity in life. For things to continue according to plan. For familiarity to be permutation's master. And certainly there is much merit in this philosophy. Adventures make one late for dinner, after all.
And part of me so wishes I were like this predominantly. Seemingly finding contentment in every corner and each routine. But it seems I've been dealt a more transient hand.
And in light of the recent holiday, in which we are implored to an action of praise, essentially, I have to conclude that boredom lies in cahoots with discontentment. With discontentment being the anti-thesis of why we gather and eat turkeys. Discontent and boredom plot in a Dark Camp together, scheming plans to internally attack their victims. I'm probably on their Sitting Duck list.
So, friends, how do we overcome the negative aspects of our life-long characteristics, refined through years of nurture? Sweet Georgia B.!
Or how do we deflect the arrows of the Dark Camp that strike deep and seek to insignificize our very existence?
I think it's done like this:
"God. I can't do this. No, seriously. I will likely never be content with this life. No. I will NEVER be content with this life. Please help me to remember that. But please be/do contentment for me. Please change me too. Please! Please? Amen."
And then you go enjoy your third Thanksgiving feast with new friends who purposefully invited you (as did the previous two parties) to partake in the holiday bounty with their family and treat you like one of the team.
And lastly, as thoughts of gravy-strewn delights surge in the visualizers on your way to the gathering, you strike yourself on the face, saying 'I'm a damned fool! (repeat if necessary) for not appreciating the 1,001 distinctives that have evidenced God's love toward my often unthankful, uncaring being!'
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!
(Mine was a much needed kick in the arse)