The cure for boredom? Do more for others. 

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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“I’m so bored!” That might be something one hears in chatting with neighbors or in online discussions during this period of continuing restrictions on everyday activities. Even children might say this as they see limited possibilities for enjoyment of festive Fourth of July celebrations, picnics, and parades.

But what seems like a vacuum of joy or fun activity need not be that at all. Rather, we can rouse ourselves to adopt an unlimited and less self-centered focus – to put on a “the sky is the limit” perspective of divine Love. We can begin by exchanging the phrase “What am I not getting?” for “How can I help?”

Most people would agree with the words of Christ Jesus that Paul relates: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). When we open our hearts to helping others, we come to discover how natural and joyful that feels. To express love is to express our genuine God-given purpose and spiritual nature as His offspring. The Bible states that we are created in the image and likeness of God, who is divine Love. I have found that the highest, purest love comes from mentally perceiving ourselves and others as Love sees us – as His own treasured children, blessed and precious.

When thought adopts this more spiritual view, it transforms our day-to-day living, brings healing, and edifies and enriches human relationships. Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper and the Church of Christ, Scientist, writes, speaking of divine Love, “Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 454). As we understand Love as our true source and center of being, the worthless habits of criticism, selfishness, and indifference begin to drop away.

Learning more of Love and our relation to Love, we get great ideas about how to help others – especially those who may be downcast and struggling. Our hearts help our hands get to work, and even the kids can join in and see the blessing and fun this involves.

One fifth-grade girl in the news made a project of writing weekly letters to individuals, including her mail carrier. Making a pie for a neighbor, phoning an elderly person just to chat, or having the kids draw “thank you” posters for grocery workers – all help to brighten the day and lighten the load for all. There is so much love to share, because divine Love is infinite in nature.

Through my study of Christian Science, I have also found God’s love more than equal to the task of physical healing. Spiritually understanding that God sustains each one of us, keeping us safe and complete in His spiritual likeness, never separated from Him, removes fear – and this brings about healing. One woman recently was healed of recurring severe shortness of breath when we prayed together daily for several days. She later shared that other health issues had also disappeared and that she continues to experience a deep peace.

Citywide shutdowns or not, there’s no time like the present to wake up to eternal, infinite Love, to claim it as our true source, and to let its blessings flow outward! As active witnesses to Love’s power and presence among us, how could any day be boring?

I am reminded of the words of a hymn that point to the immeasurable love of God, our Father-Mother:

“Lord, Your mercy reaches higher than the heavens;
Lord, Your faithfulness is wider than the sky.
Lord, Your gracious judgments, deeper than the earth,
Show Your tender care for every creature’s worth.”
(Carol Reed-Jones, “Christian Science Hymnal: Hymns 430-603,” No. 528, © CSBD)

May each of us, of any age or station in life, listen today, right now, for more ways that we can show our love and care for others. Who can calculate the potential for healing and comfort our outreaching consciousness of divine Love will bring?

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.