We bought a Roomba to confront the daily household dog hair and dust invasion. We weren’t willing to get rid of the dog and I want the windows open. So an automatic, robotic vacuum cleaner provided a great solution.
Roomba sometimes seems like a toddler. When it’s noisy, we know everything is fine. But when it gets quiet, we know Roomba’s caught up in something it shouldn’t be. Even in our townhome, Roomba’s managed to hide for days. One afternoon, I found Roomba outside on the lawn.
The most interesting thing about Roomba is its priority selection. Roomba tends to spend most of its time in the areas I perceive to have the least amount of dog hair or dust—in the guest hallway. Its second favorite spot is fighting for freedom underneath the wicker couch. It busily bustles in these low priority areas, leaving more important areas (to me) untouched or barely glossed over unless I pick it up and specifically move it to the kitchen or living room.
As I watched Roomba today, I wondered why it prioritized those areas over much dirtier spots. I personified Roomba’s motivations. It worked tirelessly during its allotted timeframe. However, as the person with the overarching vantage point, I knew Roomba’s influence and impact would be greater if it focused its busy work in other areas.
Busyness for the Sake of Busyness
Of course, the immediate lesson wasn’t lost on me. I’ve felt the self-satisfaction of busyness for the sake of busyness. I checked off my to-do list, but I still didn’t really accomplish much. When I’ve caught myself in non-eternal busyness, I needed to shift focus or trajectory.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks’ 2007 Conference Talk “Good, Better, Best” continues to give practical, overarching advise to maximize my time and effort each day.
Most of us have more things expected of us than we can possibly do. As breadwinners, as parents, as Church workers and members, we face many choices on what we will do with our time and other resources.
We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives.
Venture out of the rarely used hallway into the real, measurable opportunities. Maybe the hallway’s a comfort zone. Maybe I don’t want to intrude on uncharted territory. Maybe I don’t want to get down and dirty grimy vacuuming up the real messes. Maybe I’m self-satisfied exerting all of my effort, oblivious to other opportunities available to me!
Becoming Fit Companions of the Gods and Holy Ones
Eliza R. Snow, in her practical, no-nonsense, spiritual giant of womanhood, addressed these dilemmas and challenged women to get rid of busyness for itself and get out into the messy spaces of the soul. Be influential and impactful, acting with purpose.
We want to be ladies in very deed, not according to the term of the word as the world judges, but fit companions of the Gods and Holy Ones. In an organized capacity we can assist each other in not only doing good but in refining ourselves, and whether few or many come forward and help to prosecute this great work, they will be those that will fill honorable positions in the Kingdom of God. …
Women should be women and not babies that need petting and correction all the time. I know we like to be appreciated but if we do not get all the appreciation which we think is our due, what matters? We know the Lord has laid high responsibility upon us, and there is not a wish or desire that the Lord has implanted in our hearts in righteousness but will be realized, and the greatest good we can do to ourselves and each other is to refine and cultivate ourselves in everything that is good and ennobling to qualify us for those responsibilities.
Mortality is busy, but busyness in and of itself does not exalt. A life consecrated to the service of God, however, produces celestial results.
About Delisa Hargrove
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.