Ok, so lately I've had something really consuming my thoughts... much of which I've just been contributing to chapters of my book... but, for whatever reason, I feel very compelled to share this subject on here. So here it goes.
BTW, before you jump on the 'to each his own' or 'it's just a difference in personality' devil's-advocate wagon with this, just hear me out.
When your world is suddenly rocked with the thought process and perspective that tomorrow may not come, you can't help but lose some formality in the way you conduct your days.
Ok, ok. Let's be honest. Pretty much ALL of that formality becomes obsolete.
For example, you call me at 10am and say 'Hey, I'm in town for the day... can I stop by in the next twenty minutes, even just to say hi and give a hug?' My response: ABSOLUTELY! Be forewarned I won't just probably be... I WILL be in my pajamas (some of which are secondhand and granny-ish, as they fit the bill for that post-double mastectomy surgery, not long ago), my house may or may not be clean, my kids will also probably be in *much cuter, mind you* their pj's.... and *my description for my crazy afro-curly/frizzy morning-hair is Kramer--you know, Seinfeld* is also promised, so expect to have that burn your eyes out seconds after you knock on my front door.
But here's the funniest part. I'm telling you all this on here, yet, if you really do ask to pop in on me, *unless I have some horrible illness I don't want to pass to you, or just am not and will not be at home (which is highly unlikely at 10am), you will receive an eager YES and nothing more.
Why is this funny?
Two years ago I would of not only apologized profusely for all aforementioned realities, but even gone so far as to make up some kind of blanketed excuse as to why I 'reeeeeeeally need' you to come a little later... even if just an hour... just so I could then frantically run all around my OWN, COMFORTABLE SPACE and make it and myself look presentable........ even appealing, so as to make a 'good impression' on you.
Ok. Now. RAISE YOUR HAND IF THIS IS YOU. *Yes, I know you're sitting at your computer and yes I know maybe I need to tone down the teacher in me... but seriously.* You need to physically acknowledge this utter waste of time and true relationships!!!
I've really racked my brain over this one. Can you tell?! I've tried soooooo hard to give us all a reasonable excuse for this behavior, but unless you are living like a hoarder-episode *in which case you'll need a lot more than one hour* I just... I got nothin.'
Let me just turn the tables for a second. Do you honestly think, if/when I contact you.. wanting to SEE YOU.. that I care whether or not your bathroom hand-towels are fresh? Or whether or not there are dirty dishes sitting in your sink? Sure, I may notice how beautifully clean your house is if you DO insist on being the cleaning-psycho that put me off for an hour.. but how totally UNreal are we already kicking our time off with each other?! In fact, I'm all for a new movement with this. It's called 'let me visit you and help you do some of those things WHILE we chat, if you are so desperate to do them, and be equally blessed by our time with one together!' What a concept.
Do you think that Jesus was so formal? Whether visiting someone OR being visited by someone?
And I haven't even touched yet on how true to THIS WORLD, ONLY that this behavior is. Heaven will have no time. Heaven will have no formality. We will be brought to light and as raw as it gets!!!
Privacy and formality is a whacky concept that seems to consume us in this life. We say and do things with the main intention of 'impression'... even on people we don't know that well! Look at my new car. Look at my big house. Look at me getting promoted in my important job, again. Sure, I am aware that this has more to do with an attitude of humility.. or lack thereof.. but it's still related. Why do you feel you have to apologize for your kids' nap-time possibly interfering with a visit? Why do you think it necessary to skate around looking through my cupboards for a glass or looking in my fridge because you truly need a snack or want something other than water? Yes, I appreciate manners... but at some point *much shorter than most now, I think* I prefer real. Formality and need for extreme 'privacy,' I have decided, come out of ego--self... and self wants to please and impress OTHERS.
I think the bible leaves no room for error in this matter...
Love your neighbor as yourself, putting all others first. Open your heart and your dwelling places. SERVE. Be kind. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord. Fellowship with one another.
Really now. Do we really need MORE?! There certainly are at least a hundred more, but I feel it entirely unnecessary to continue spouting.
So what is my rambling point??
Challenge yourself this week. Not just to 'say a kind word' or 'do a nice thing'... but really... challenge yourself to open your house or something 'private' up to those around you.
SEIZE EVERY OPPORTUNITY you get to fellowship, pray with and just be surrounded by others whom need you.. or you need.. or BOTH! Seize without excuses. Apologies. Or stories.
I know it's hard for some of you who've never stared death in the face, but tell yourself, last night's dirty-dishes in that sink aren't worth putting this off. In fact, that's just about the most ridiculous excuse to make, assuming, that opportunity arises again after they are taking care of.
Assumption is yet another topic that's been lurking in my heart lately. More on that later.
Meantime... don't you have someone you need to go invite over for coffee and fellowship in your pj's, tomorrow morning?