My mom had a lot of company while I was in my teens. “After you left, it was harder to have people over,” she told me when I was a newlywed. Seems all that table-setting, serving, and cleanup we did together made hospitality easier. My daughter’s health challenges in her teens meant one of the things we missed out on was keeping company in the kitchen. Mom and I bonded as friends as we dished up food and washed dishes together.
On the job and at home, I still throw parties. I’ve noticed that after each college reunion I get a cold sore. The current one started the morning after the last event. It’s a response to the strain of planning a day for strangers. How many are coming (or not), what are their interests, or what will their response be? A university needs the support of its alumni and parents, whether that is with finances or recruitment. And so we invite them back home, not knowing if they will show up... or if they will have bought an ox, sold a field, or if they just feel too busy.
After my first event on the job, one of the assistants flopped down on a chair in my office. “Wow, you are a breath of fresh air! You don’t yell at us or get all stressed out!” Yell? What would that help? Our team plans every possible detail and then flows through the day as it evolves. But the pressure – even if it’s internal – shows itself on my lip the morning after. I can’t wait for this cold sore to heal up. The next event is dinner for 21 at home this weekend… and the one after that is a three day conference for about 40 at the university in two weeks. Someone, please grab the Carmex! (http://www.mycarmex.com/heal/default.aspx)
*But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 NLT
*I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 NKJV
*Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:1-2 NLT
*But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8 NLT