Refuse to be Passive

Community and Hospitality

In Life in General on July 15, 2011 at 10:31 am

Always do right. This will gratify some and astonish the rest.

– Mark Twain

These past few weeks I’ve been thinking about my role as a Christian within my immediate community and the larger surrounding world. I’ve been thinking about a Christian’s call to community and hospitality. We live in a world where we’re so rushed that developing community often consists of meeting a friend for a quick cup of coffee and a chat, and where hospitality is left for special occasions. I must confess that I don’t know that I practice hospitality in my daily life. I am a busy person, although I envy those who can have an open door policy, allowing people to drop in as they please. I think that practicing hospitality has been twisted in our culture to reflect evenings of food and fun, dressed up to the nines. Dinner parties, cocktail parties, BBQs. The house must be immaculate before you’d dream of having someone over. In a way, we hide who we really are under a mask of hospitality.

Hospitality goes so much beyond hosting dinner parties or brunches. It goes beyond food, although the sharing of food can certainly be a time of blessing. I love food, and I love to cook, so these things come easily to me. But being a hostess isn’t necessarily hospitality. If you’re so busy making sure nothing is burning, and can’t take time to visit, what is the point? Doesn’t true hospitality involve slowing down and taking the time to listen to what our guests have to say– to celebrate their joys and share in their sorrows? To help where needed, to be a support?

I’m about to embark on a chapter of life in a couple weeks– moving to Toronto to attend culinary school. It’s the fulfillment of a dream, but also a chance to start fresh, to practice true hospitality from the get-go. It’s a chance to get to know new people in a way that will bless them. In a culture where everyone is rushing to get things done, where everyone is in a hurry, I have the opportunity to step back, take a breath, and exemplify a slow, deliberate pace of life that brings with it peace, joy, and calm. This slowing down is something our culture desperately needs, and something it runs from. Hopefully, in my own little corner of the world, I can encourage others to use their down time in a way not wasteful, but still relaxing. Developing true relationships, rather than turning on the TV and turning off the brain.  Hopefully I can be an example to others of what a life of peace can look like, what a life of hospitality and community can look like.

Note: This may not be the most eloquent post ever, it just kind of fell out of my brain and onto my blog. None the less, I hope you enjoyed reading it and have been given some food for thought.

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