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Not Good vs. Bad but Better vs. Best

February 8, 2010

If there is one thing Luke loves to do, it is see how many toys he can carry at once. It is not uncommon for him to be walking all around the house with toys in his hands, one in his mouth, one tucked under his chin – you get the idea. He loves to carry a bunch of toys to a corner of the house or up on the couch and then sit and play with them.

This weekend, we were in Cincinatti (along with 4-5 inches of snow). Kathryn, Laura Beth (her sister), and Lindsey (a member at CD) were all going to a convention since they sell Usborne Children’s Books. Lindsey’s husband David and I had their daughter Ainsley and Luke for the whole day Saturday. So, we went to the Duke Energy Children’s Museum. I highly recommend it – really good stuff. They ran around, played with all kinds of cool equipment, and wore themselves out for the ride back (all part of our plan).

There was one room with a ton of little plastic balls and a series of tubes that you could put the balls through and watch them go all over the place. Luke’s eyes were as big as I have ever seen them, and he ran into the room. He went into gathering mode, trying to grab as many as he could. Here’s the thing – there were literally hundreds of them. He would be holding on to several, then see another, reach for it, then drop them all. He kept trying in vain to hold them all at once, but it was impossible.

I probably don’t have to connect the dots for a spiritual application. Maybe because I was thinking about all I had to do when we got back, it just hit me. I have the same tendency to try to do too many things at once, take on too many responsibilities, and then start wondering about how I can do more. That can be bad both in life and in ministry. It is hard for me to always ask if the ministry task I am involved in is an efficient use of my time, or if I should be simplifying my schedule to focus on the most important things. Tom Peters once said that effective leaders don’t just have list of new things they have started doing, but a list of ineffective things they have stopped doing. Since we can only do so much, we need to make sure we are choosing the best over the good or even better.

Pretty deep for a Children’s Museum, huh?

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