I've been thinking a lot recently about how hospitality really isn't my thing. I'm not the kind of person that just throws my door open and says, "Come on in! Whenever! Whoever! Root through my fridge!" There are a handful of people who I don't mind just popping over all the time, but they are a select group of people.
Mind you, I like to throw a good dinner party once in a while or have a game night.
Once in a while.
Not all the time. With whoever. Whenever.
Is this bad?
I don't know.
I think much of the explanation for this is ingrained both in my nature and upbringing to keep my house tidy and clean. I feel an extra dose of pressure when I know people will be coming over. I like to have time to pick up those miscellaneous pieces of mail lying around, dust off the surfaces, make sure no underwear missed the laundry hamper, that sort of thing.
I also don't like it when people throw open the refrigerator door and THEN say, "Can I have a drink?" Then they proceed to open up the brand new bottle of your special raspberry lemonade that you JUST splurged on half an hour ago at the grocery store, intending for it to be a Saturday morning treat for you and your hubby on a picnic lunch. But manners say you should smile and say, "Sure!" Sigh ...and although this aforementioned scenario has really only occurred once, it bothered me. A lot.
So that's part of it, too. I have boundaries, but I also have manners. Sometimes those two things clash, and then I struggle with it internally. And seethe for a while. And ruminate.
I hear you saying, "Just let it go."
Did I mention I'm Type A? A for anal-retentive? A for over-Achiever? A for never-was-allowed-to-settle-for "good enough"?
So hospitality is not my gift. I tried explaining that to Nich yesterday as we were enjoying dinner in the backyard and preparing for our young adult Bible study. You know what he said in response?
"Sounds like the kind of excuse that would make your head explode if you heard someone else say it."
Why is he always right about me?
"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner