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.


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