Saturday, September 10, 2005

Good, Better, Best

I had the most interesting discussion with my daughter today about superlatives.

Those who know me, know that I live in the superlative world:
Everything is the 'best' or the 'worst' or the 'most.'

And I'd say that most acquaintances know how to measure what I really mean within the context of what I am saying. I'm quite animated and demonstrative and of course, there is no simple answer -- everything has a story involved with it, complete with the rolling of the eyes, the mimicking or mocking, caustic commentary and dozens of superlatives scattered throughout.

But back to the discussion with my daughter, I can't even remember why we got on the subject, but I'm thinking it will be one of those life lessons that someday she'll look back on and say "My mommy once told me..."

Somehow we got to a place in the conversation where I told her that 'the fun thing isn't always the right thing. And the best thing isn't always the easy thing. And the good thing may someday keep her from getting the best thing."

Well, of course, those are certainly lofty ideals even for us more seasoned folks, so I gave her a very real and recent example from my own life.

I explained that someone had offered me something that I dearly wanted this past week. With the caveat, however, that this friend really felt like she shouldn't add anything more to my overloaded plate of obligations. But evenso, she offered it to me asking that I pray about it and let her know my decision.

With every ounce of my being, I wanted to say "Yes! I want to do that!" but there was a little voice in my head saying, "No -- it's a good thing...but it's not the best thing."

And so, with a heavy heart and big tears, I told my friend that while I would like to say that I would pray about the offer for a few days and come back, I knew that I wouldn't. I would simply wait an appropriate amount of time and come back and say "Yes! I want to do that!" And I explained that since I knew she had been giving this opportunity much more prayerful consideration than I had these past several weeks, that I would defer to her sense about not needing to add anything to my plate.

At once, I was grieved and sad and felt like someone had snatched away my favorite dolly. And at the same time, I was washed over with the peace of knowing I had done the right thing.

So I told this story to my daughter, who sat in the backseat with eyes wide with amazement. And she asked "So mommy, if that was the good thing...what was the best thing?"

"I don't know yet...I don't know."

Well, how in the world do you explain that you know in your heart that you have done the right thing by turning down a good thing in order to receive the best thing that you have no idea what it is or when it is coming!

We continued to talk, and I gave an example that made sense to her, and I saw the light go on. She got it. She understood that we can fill our lives with lots of very good and noble things, but we have to work on our ability to discern between simply choosing good instead of waiting on best.

If our hands are full of pennies, there is no room left to receive the gold.

This is not the best post I've ever written, nor the longest...nor even the shortest
not the most insightful...or least interesting...
not the strangest...funniest...probably not even the deepest.

I doubt it's the most personal...couldn't be the most random...

But I do have the surest feeling that it is the one that will stick with me the longest.


At 4:44 PM, Blogger amberdusk said...

WOW that was very meaningful and applicable to my life (as I am sure it is to many people) Do you mind if I take that line about the pennies and the gold. Liked it a lot.

At 6:35 AM, Blogger Jada's Gigi said...

Hey, I get it. :) I have tried to impart that very same wisdom to my kiddos. You know, sometimes you just have to go with your gut. :) If you are a Christian, then you have the One who knows all living inside you. Just listen....

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Whit - The line:

"If our hands are full of pennies, there is no room left to receive the gold."

Is just so true... What you fill your life with is probably the single most important aspect of being able to be happy!

This may not be the most, or the best, or the whatever... in your opinion... In mine however, it's certainly profound!

At 11:08 AM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Beautiful, as always, Whit.

And it is YOUR post, from your own heart and mind, which makes it truly meaningful.

Blessings and hope all is well.


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