I sat in Primary with Daniel again on Sunday and listened to the kids singing, "If the Savior stood beside me, would I do the things I do?"
And it got me thinking.
I know it's been said so often it has no meaning any more, but I started actually visualizing meeting Christ and having to report on what I did with my life, and I had some interesting realizations. Would I be ashamed to report that I had a messy floor my whole life? No. Would I be ashamed to report I was sometimes--okay, often-- late for church? No. Would I be ashamed to report that my walls are NOT covered with age-appropriate gospel art? No. Nor that my kids sometimes wear the same clothes for 2 or even 3 days in a row. Nor that we sometimes have cold cereal for dinner. Nor that I left the dishes in the sink for a week at least several times a month.
BUT I realized that I would be ashamed if I had to report that I never got around to visiting teaching. And I'd be ashamed to report that I didn't "tune in" to the kids and talk to each of them with sincere focus every day. And I'd be ashamed if I had to report that I forced Tim to get a job flipping burgers because I wanted a steady income. And I'd be ashamed if I reported that I never got around to finishing my novel. In fact, I would be deeply embarrassed. Especially if my excuse was "I was reading the news" or "I was skimming facebook/ craigslist/ YouTube/ WebUrbanist [fill in online timewaster of the day here]" or "I was keeping my floor clean for once."
The other thing I realized is that clean floors really don't contribute to building the Kingdom of God. They really don't. Nor do nice clothes, or skinny tummies, or fancy fixed-up houses, or serving food on the "right" dishes. As much as we all like those things....
So if I intend to use my time and talents to help build the kingdom of God.....you see where I'm going?
It's not that we shouldn't strive for tidy, healthy homes and clean, well-kempt appearances. But that's not what I'm talking about. And I'm not talking about you. I'm talking about me, and my desires and my guilts and the things that fill my brain and my mind and my heart---and stop me from listening to my babies and writing my books and journaling and reading the scriptures.
Would I be ashamed to say, "Sorry, Jesus. I didn't get my scripture study and visiting teaching done because I was at the gym getting my tummy flattened."