Not to be confused by complaint or frustration, I preface this blog with the fact I know many people complain about 'in-laws'; but this is not one of those blogs.
So, there I am laying on our 2nd bedroom floor on top of our exercise mat, with several throw blankets keeping me warm. My wife 5'5" snuggled up comfortably on a loveseat just inches above my head, her feet dangling off the edge. The ipod is playing our 'rain/thunderstorm' as we try to get into a comfortable position that doesn't make a limb fall asleep or worse.
Not so typical for me, I lay there wrestling. Feet shifting in and out of the 'Barbourville' blanket, head bumping the particle board laptop stand,...and listening to my wife shifting around on the reclining loveseat, just waiting for her to trigger the recliner mechanism that would fling my body against the wall, like a paper football.
It was in the midst of this, that I thought. What is hospitality? I was reminded of Abraham taking care of visitors and Lot taking care of his angelic guests. It seemed that giving up things and being sacrificial is somewhere locked into the definition. I can see clearly that the GUEST gets the goods, (hence a fluffy queen-sized mattress with comforter). BUT, what is the benefit of the being the HOST?
I thought about some benefits, even though I have to admit I struggle with many of them.
The benefits of hospitality for the HOST:
1. Seeing the pleasure of those people you serve.
2. Seeing that your sacrifice of food, time, and agendas; Increases your gratitude for your day-in and day-out routines, that are often times seen as trivial.
3. Christ-like Host, lay down their lives, willfully (not grumbling or asking for 'my time'.)
4. Kills pride, to willfully give up your selfish tendencies. NOTE: Willfully = joyfully.
How good of a host are you? Would you be willing to open your home to others? Would you be willing to turn your den into a place of ministry and not 'misery'? What 'exercise mat' will Christ call you to bear? Do you joyfully accept visitors? Put out a guest book, make your home a place for ministry.