Monday, October 25, 2010

Quality or Speed?

Badness you can get easily, in quantity;
the road is smooth, and it lies close by,
But in front of excellence the immortal gods have put sweat,
and long and steep is the way to it.
-       Hesiod (Greek poet)

Just this morning I was printing some photos from a trip my husband and I took (hence the lack of blog updates).  The pictures printed in quick succession, but when I pulled them off the printer there were 3-4 horizontal lines running through each one.  Briefly I debated keeping them as the dozen pictures are for me to pass around at work.  But the debate quickly ended (as the pictures went in the trash) once I took another look at how nice everything looked on my computer screen.  Another batch was printed after I tweaked the printer settings (I literally was able to pick ‘quality’ over ‘speed’), and now I’m waiting for the ink to dry.  Ate up a bit more of my morning, and it did cost me some extra photo paper, but the end results are worth it.

Many things in life are like this.  We try to take shortcuts with jobs or chores or even relationships.  Or we think the more we do, the better, even if what we are producing – the fruit we are bearing – is not really all that good.  In Western culture especially, I think, we have forgotten how to take our time with things.  Everything is so ‘go-go-go’ and ‘Now!’ and fast

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying we should dawdle through everything.  There are situations and such for which we need to pick up the pace and get things done.  Beating around the bush, after all, gets frustrating and can get one stuck in a rut.  And dilly-dallying isn’t exactly a quality use of our time.  It’s badness, as it were, at a slower pace.

As with all things in life, there is a balance to be found and seasons to go through.  So find yours – live a quality life – one with purpose and meaning and, yes, even sweat and tears.  The benefits, I am beginning to realize, are worth it. 

And if you’re looking for some guidance, check out Donald Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years to learn how to tell a good story with your life.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Please Hold

Our internet connection was down for a few days.   Not an earth-shattering event by any stretch, really, but it was an inconvenience mainly in regards to keeping up with my usual Monday updates.  Add to that the troubles I’ve been having with my computer at work and preparations for an upcoming trip*, and, well, there has been some frustrations this week.

Ah, waiting.  It’s not always a fun thing to do, is it?  Especially when it involves things we’d like to be doing.  Shoot, it even holds for things we don’t want to be doing.  We’d like the waiting to be done and over with so we can either get the unpleasant task done and over with, or to the fun ‘n’ games. 

Yet there are times where we must wait.  I remember waiting for the right time to be done my housecleaning job.  It paid well, I more or less set my own hours, and overall I worked for really good people.  But after ten years, I was ready for a change.  I tried to hurry things along by dropping a couple of my out-of-the-way clients, but both part-time jobs I held fizzled out in turn.  Then I was hired as a teacher’s assistant at a school in the neighbouring town.  Again, it was a good experience overall but a job for the next school year was uncertain as the child I had been working with had progressed to the point of no longer needing an aide. And just when I was wondering “What next?” I was offered a job with the company I am still employed with.  Oh, initially it was a scary time.  I was very much out of my comfort zone.  Everything was new, and I knew my boss beforehand and didn’t want him to regret hiring me, and so on and so forth.  But you know what?  It ended up being the best job I have had to date.  I was given opportunities to grow and learn new things.  And I did learn and grow.   It didn’t stay scary and unfamiliar.

Now I find myself waiting again for direction and ‘the right time’ as I ponder making changes in this, that and the other.  But this time I don’t want to get ahead of God.  I want to move when He says move, stay when He tells me to stay.  It’s not always easy.  I’m not always patient.  But I’m finally realizing the consequences of impatiently taking off on my own are not worth it, either. 

Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So . . . get on your way.
- Dr. Seuss

*I will not be updating for the next two weeks due to said trip.