I suppose there have always been kids who were bored. The summer months can drag on and kids find ways to entertain themselves. Something of course is quite alarming when boys decide to seek out and kill someone to alleviate their boredom. That’s what happened this past week in a small town in Oklahoma when 3 teenage boys spotted a young man jogging by and decided to end his life. According to news reports  one of the teenage suspects told the police that “he and other boys were bored and that they followed Lane (the victim) and killed him for ‘the fun of it.’”
Our initial reaction is that of disgust trying not wrap our minds around such senseless killing. But as I thought more about what happened it occurred to me that technology, as great as it can be, is also robbing our young people of something so important – imagination. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not suggesting that all teenagers who use the internet or technology will become killers. There’s far more to the problem than just that. What I see is a trend in the young people I know. For the most part, teenagers today are passive when it comes to work (that’s a mild way of saying they are prone to laziness). Instead of being outside enjoying a beautiful day they are often found inside playing video games, surfing the web, on Facebook or watching a movie. Obesity among youth is at an all-time high  leading many to stop and take notice of t his rising medical crisis.
Who’s to blame?
That’s a tough question to answer. Many will point the finger at the parenting (or lack of) and say they are responsible for what’s going on. Others will look at society and complain about lack of programs, inequality in schooling and funding, and a need for more mentoring initiatives. And even some will point the finger at the church saying there are no efforts to reach young people today. Regardless of your view the answer to the question is… ME! Each one of us have a responsibility to be engaged in our youth, whether at home, in our communities or in our churches. It’s very easy to blame everyone else.
My challenge to me first and then those of you reading this is to ask a simple question. What can I do to help a young person today? As Christians we all have contact with young people. What are we willing to do to lead them closer to Christ? It’s time to make the effort to be involved. To engage. To interact. Most of all it’s time we lead by example and showed these young people what living is all about.