Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yes, I am whining

This has been an odd week. The house renovations went well, but we are really tired. One family birthday was supposed to happen before all the work started, but an unexpected business trip bumped that party to yesterday. It was supposed to be lunch / afternoon, but a couple of people didn’t read the emails that flew back and forth and it wound up being all afternoon / supper / evening. Lots of food, but that meant lots of cleanup.

Today we host our annual football final party with some friends. Both my husband and I teach this morning. We were up late cleaning up after birthday celebrations. I’m glad the game is later in the day because my first thought when the alarm rang was, “Oh no. I want to sleep for a week.”

This is a physical challenge, but I’m also challenged in my spiritual life. God has been pointed about the need to die to self and put others first. The changes in yesterday’s plans were not huge in themselves, but a few added elements pushed my buttons. One couple said they had been sick and did we want them to keep their germs at home because of my DH lowered immune system. Huh? I didn’t know how to respond so passed that one to hubby. Two other people have asked if they could bring friends. Huh? Normally that would not be a problem but my fatigue almost became an excuse for buying a couple of copies of Miss Manners.

So today God gives me a verse and reminds me of my mother. First the verse, written by Paul but definitely good advice from the Lord:

The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:9)
Paul sets an example of how to live the Christian life and tells me to follow his lead. So did my mother. She wasn’t perfect, but she did know how to do hospitality. One year she felt burdened for the teens in the community who had nothing to do on New Year’s Eve while their parents partied in the local pub. So she invited them to our house. We lived a mile out of town and they came, first a few, but by the third year, we had one hundred and twenty-five guests. We fed them pancakes, lots of pancakes. There was no alcohol as all were underage, but mom would not have tolerated it anyway. We probably gave them soda pop, a lot of soda pop.

I cannot remember much else, except that third year one boy fell on a coffee table and broke the glass. He could have been badly injured. My mother decided this was a good reason to end these parties, but the lessons of hospitality stayed. My sister finds this an easier example. For me, it is a bigger challenge. I prefer smaller groups.

No matter. My preference isn’t what God wants. He says I’m to follow the example of Paul, but also my mother. Entertain strangers. Give of myself, even when I am tired. What I have seen in others who follow Jesus I must also do.

The bottom line is that for these things, God promises . . .  peace? No, the verse says that the “God of peace” will be with me. He, who is filled with peace and the Author of peace,  promises His presence.

That’s one more guest, only this time I’ve no hesitation. He is welcome in my house and at my table. In fact, I’m positive that there is no way I can do today without Him.