Tuesday, April 10, 2012
efficient vs. effective
Lately, Claire loves to make cookies. Almost every day she puts in a request for cookie making. Chocolate chip, please. And we have to use our aprons and "crazy voices" (think Julia Child). These activiites aren't so good for my hips, but we sure have fun and our finished product produces a great afterschool snack for the big girls.
A few weeks ago we were elbow deep in flour when it occured to me that making cookies with a three year old isn't very efficient. It almost always results in a bigger mess than if I were to bake by myself. We'd use a few less eggs to be sure (due to the one or two that seem to always be an "oops!"). And I'm positive I could have the task done in much less time if I were working alone.
It reminded me of something a member of our stake presidency counseled in a meeting a while back. He spoke of how the Savior didn't minister in an efficient way. Instead, he was effective. He loved, healed, and ministered to the one. His focus wasn't on time constraints and to-do lists. I'm sure he wasn't one bit worried about the quickest way to get things done.
He was focused on teaching the one.
A few days later, I was getting ready to paint Ryenne and Kate's room when Ryenne asked if she could help. My instinct was to say no, that painting was something I did by myself. You know, the efficient response. Fortunately, I remembered what I had been taught. I said yes, and we went to work. Thank goodness I did. While perched on the bunk bed as we painted, I learned what she and her friends liked to do during lunch break. She shared secrets. Because I let myself be inneficient, I learned who the cutest/nicest boys in the sixth grade are (sorry, I'm sworn to secrecy). She asked me what "pride in your work" means. After I explained, she was certain that's how she felt about her newly painted room. She was proud of what she'd accomplished, and she deserved to be! What's more, we had a great time together.
I was reminded once again that being effective is much, much more important than being efficient.