Tuesday, May 1, 2012

On Dirty Floors

I have an 8-month old son who is at such a fun stage right now.  He is crawling around everywhere, pulling himself up to the dishwasher, the garbage can, my legs, anything he can get his hands on.  This is great because he is mobile and can get where he wants to go.  This is also hard because where he wants to go usually involves me (which is great, don't get me wrong), but sometimes I can't have him pulling on my pant leg or crawling at my feet  It is hard because he can find the tiniest speck of anything and get it in his mouth in 2 seconds.  It is great because I get to sweep my kitchen about ten times a day so he can't find those tiny specks (or not so tiny more often than not), and therefore I have a cleaner kitchen floor - at least in theory.
This morning as I was sweeping the kitchen, my little guy was very interested in what I was doing.  Each time I made a little pile, he would crawl with all his  might to find something interesting - in this case that lovely Easter grass that hangs around in bits and pieces until the 4th of July no matter how hard you try to pick it all up.  I tried to move the pile to keep it away from him.  Each time I tried to sweep more to add to the pile, he was Speedy Gonzales trying to get to those pieces of delicious-looking plastic.  Step two: distract him.  I pulled out bright shiny toys, toys that made noise, toys that eased his teething pain, anything to keep his mind off the garbage on the floor.  Nothing doing.  He would look at the toys for a minute, and then he was off to continue his quest.  So I finally had to put him in his high chair while I finished sweeping and made it safe for him to crawl around the floor.
(No, this is not my actual floor, nor the size of my actual dirt pile.  If it got this big, there is no way I could keep the little guy away from it, and I think my husband would have a heart attack if it got this big!)
How does this relate to life?  I wonder how often the Lord gets frustrated with our obsession with things of the world, things that are dirty and pollute our spirits.  He puts all these wonderful things in our lives - scriptures, prayer, uplifting music, conference, sacrament meeting, firesides, Church magazines, lessons, the temple - and yet sometimes we continue to be drawn to the specks of dirt in our lives.  Nothing really bad, but not the greatest things to feed our spirits.
Last summer I taught the young women in our ward a song for camp.  It was by Jenny Philips called "We Seek After These Things".  I was very pregnant at the time, and the young women's president apologized for asking me to help with it.  But learning and teaching the song reminded me of some important truths.  The line that jumped out at me was, "Our mighty God has given us so much good to find, there's just no room for darkness in our lives."  How true!  There is so much that is good and can uplift, and yet sometimes we are drawn to things that may not be really bad, but may not invite the Spirit into our lives like we need.  Sometimes we follow the crowd, go along with the flow, only to find that we have taken ourselves just the tiniest bit further away from where we want to be.  
I am reminded of a wonderful talk by Elder Oaks called "Good, Better, Best" in which he outlined the importance of being wise in the choices we make.  He said, "As we consider various choices, we should remember that it is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best. Even though a particular choice is more costly, its far greater value may make it the best choice of all......Some uses of individual and family time are better, and others are best. We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families." 
The Lord has given us so many opportunities to enrich our lives, to focus on the gospel, and to use the many resources available to strengthen our testimonies and those of our family members.  Are we using our time wisely?  Are we using those resources or are they sitting on a shelf waiting for us to access them?  Are we first pulling out a novel, no matter how wonderful it may be, before we study our scriptures?  Let's focus on the wonderful things the Lord has given us to enrich our lives and to draw us closer to Him rather than chasing after the dirty scraps on the floor.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Katrina,
    Tiffany from A Maze of Beige here. Thanks for you comment on my blog. I would love to hear more about your experience growing up in the Middle East. I'm having this experience as an adult, but I have five children, and I'm curious how you feel about your experience as a child now that you are grown. We need to chat more!