Monday, December 03, 2007

Good, better, best

Last Sunday I filled in as a teacher for Relief Society. The lesson was based on a talk by Dallin H. Oaks, "Good, Better, Best," from the most recent General Conference. At the heart of this talk are profound principles of physical, mental and spiritual health: the most difficult choices we make are not between good and evil, but between good and good; because of the limited time we have in our daily lives, it is not enough to do something just because it is good; we must choose to do first those things that are of greatest importance, that are better or best uses of our time and energy.

I'm glad that I was asked to teach the lesson because, wouldn't you know it, this is an area that I need to focus on personally. I've been reflecting on it for the past two weeks as I was preparing my lesson and in the days since. I'm realizing that I expend a great deal of energy on good things: cleaning, cooking, laundry, and so on. Sometimes I put those things before playing with my kids and even more often before making time for myself (and by that I mean worthwhile personal time like exercise, writing, meditation, scripture study and prayer). I'm not feeling terribly guilty about it; I know finding the fluid balance between necessary duties, personal growth and cherished relationships is challenging.

But pondering on this topic was a big reality check because it reminded me how I waste a lot of time, every day. Watching television, playing computer games, reading books (when I should be doing something else), and yes, spending time on the internet. None of those things are inherently evil, but when excessive or inappropriately timed, they are not "better "or "best". Why am I putting "chewing gum for the brain" before activities that actually sustain and nourish the best creative and spiritual parts of myself?

Making changes to how I spend my time is going to take effort on my part, but I'm ready to commit. I want to spend less time with the computer and TV, and more time feeding my spirit and playing with my kids or I will miss the best moments of being a mom and being me.


chckkysmile said...

This was my favorite talk from this past conference. It's nice to ehar your insight about it. :)

Dory said...

prioties are always an important lesson to learn...I'm still learning that lesson. Thanks for the food for thought. I hope that spending less time on the computer doesn't mean that you'll not make your blog posts. It's nice to know what's going on with you. Love you lots.

chicklegirl said...

Thanks, ladies. I love you, too! And no, less time on the computer just means more judicious blogging and less obsessive checking other people's blogs.

B Langston said...

It seems a little invasive to leave a comment on your blog when you don't know me! First off, your entry may be an answer to my prayers. I have to give the Good, Better, Best lesson on the 23rd (right before Christmas) and am having such a hard time putting it together. I am hoping to try to tie it into the holiday, too. I appreciate your thoughts on the lesson and wondered if it would be okay with you if I printed your entry and read it in Relief Society. I was also wondering what else you used to fill in the time for your lesson - talks, quotes, etc. I am so appreciative of any help you can give me. (By the way, I found your blog when I googled Relief Society lesson + Good, Better, Best.)
Many thanks, Brooke

B Langston said...

OOpsie - my email address is

aubrey said...

i re-watched this talk on sunday. there is such wise counsel throughout. i, too, need to be careful with how i spend my precious time. it's a tricky balance.

Margaret said...

Katie, Thanks for your insight and wisdom. Very well put. I teach in Young Womens and so I do not get to hear this lesson but I just did from you. Thankyou! I feel inspired to get off the computer and to now play with Maleha .

P.s I knew I checked your blog for a reason. I just found it!lol