Tuesday, November 09, 2010

More on Hospitality...

"...The temptation...is to do more than is required. It is easy to spend days in elaborate preparations which have nothing to do with ministry, but a great deal to do with demonstrating one's own abilities. One must look carefully at those hidden motives and ask, 'Am I really seeking to serve, or am I trying to impress?'

A good thermometer as to whether pride was rising in me was to ask two good questions: Am I nervous? Am I fussing? These were pretty good indicators of the true nature of my intentions. If I was nervous, getting jumpy before that sit-down dinner for eight, I could assume something had gone awry within. Was I afraid the new recipe would flop, or that someone might wander into an unclean room-and people would think less of me? For me, nervousness stemmed from nothing more than pride.

What did it matter if the centerpiece was less than spectacular, if the rolls were slightly more brown on the bottom, if the door to the little boys' room was closed because to enter was to take one's life in one's hands?

If I found myself fussing too much about spots on the glasses, getting upset because I had to clean the bathroom sink again, going wild because someone had walked on the freshly vacuumed shag-what did it mean? Who was coming that I was trying to impress with all these efforts? Didn't my over-concern indicate that I was depending on my human efforts to make the evening a success? Hadn't I forgotten that undefinable spiritual quality which found its source in the Holy Spirit? Again the answer was pride, pride rearing it's subtle and manipulative head, forcing me to think self..." (Karen Burton Mains, "Open Heart, Open Home:How to find joy through sharing your home with others")

1 comment:

Beth said...

Okay, demystify this whole thing. You were at my house around the time this posted. How does that work?

I would love to read this book....sounds like something relevant to my life, too. :)