Initiative

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 4:23 PM


As I was at home eating dinner in the background was a report by Yale about fast food restaurants on television. In this study they covered all different aspects of fast food and much covered advertising geared at children. They made quite a few negative statements about our beloved fast food industry but one really got my attention.

They talked about how indeed over the last few years the industry had begun to give choices for children to get on the kids meal. Trust me I know this to be the case because I have done my own study over the last 25 years when I took my kids in for the beloved kids meal. The choices are better but for Yale this was not good enough, here is the deal.

They said that fries and a coke were the default and here are the words of the report, “In most cases you have to work very hard to get a healthy side or drink in a fast-food restaurant,” she said. “You have to know it exists and you have to ask for it.”

What really got my attention was when during the report someone said the parent had to take the initiative to get a healthy side. Okay this is where I had to breathe deep and look the other way.

Since I am indeed a person with much fast food experience I can tell you that indeed you can get healthy choices. I can also let you know that all you have to do is read in most restaurants, if not all and it will be quite clear that you can get something besides a serving of fries or a coke. How hard is that? You would have to have your head buried in the sand to not know that there are healthy alternatives in 2010.

The key word is initiative, what an interesting word. Here is a definition; energy or aptitude displayed in initiation of action. Bingo that is exactly where the problem is. We as adults expect others to take the action to keep us healthy so we never use our own initiative. We have become a society that expects others to take care of us instead of us taking the action to do the right thing. So what we do is blame the fast food restaurants for making our children obese.

Perhaps we could take the initiative and get our kids some exercise instead of having them sit in the house all the time. Perhaps we could take the initiative and slow down our schedule and eat at home from time to time to make sure we control what our kids eat. Maybe even and this is a crazy thought but we could take the action to read the menu at Wendy’s and figure out what works best for our child in the healthy food area.

Lack of personal initiative is the problem with our fast food choices and it bleeds over to our religious life as well.

For example the church does not have as many activities as it should so we keep our children at home. Perhaps we could take the initiative to make these activities better. My children do not want to go it is boring, really? Sounds a lot like my kids would rather have French fries instead of an apple at McDonalds, which one are you going to do. Most the time we cave in on both.

Here is the Americans favorite one, I am too busy. In other words I am too busy to read the menu at Burger King just give me the default. Same thing works for our religious life we are too busy to take time to read the instructions or attend any kind of service so I will live my life in default, doing what I please with little regard to God.

Here is another problem and it rings true in both cases; adults are not taking any action in their own personal life. For instance why should my child want an apple when I am over there munching on a double cheese burger and fries, not the best example? Same with our relationship with God; we want our children to have a real and meaningful spiritual relationship with God but we go to church only so often or not at all and spend little other time on Godly activities. What does that say to a child?

Initiative, not something Americans are very good at these days, thankfully we know a God that took the initiative (action) to come to this world, live a perfect live and die for our sins so that we could have a real and everlasting relationship with him. Now that is the kind of action we can all appreciate, perhaps it can inspire us to take some action of our own.

Scriptures: Galatians 6:4, “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,”

Prayer: Dear Lord, lead us to action in our lives that helps us come closer to you. Lead us away from the blame of others and to responsibility. God help our actions reflect a great love for you. We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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