My philosophy comes from a quirky cookbook entitled How to Cook Without a Book by (pastor’s wife) Pam Anderson. She begins each chapter with a little ditty to teach a cooking method; for desserts, she writes:
"There is no one technique for quick dessert and certainly no one rhyme,
But anything is possible with a little money, work, or time."
I’ve morphed this dessert mantra into a principle for all hospitality. Too often, having people over can be a temptation or a burden (depending on your personality) to show off money, work, and time. No wonder we find excuses to get out of doing it! The pressure of demonstrating all three (money, work, and time) is a manifestation of pride. But humility says, “Lord, give me one of these things to commit to this task today.” It may not be much, but it will be enough.
Here’s my week:
This Wednesday, I can commit money. I lead a group of girls at the local YMCA in the afternoon, and then our family is headed out to prayer meeting by 6:45. The one or two people who regularly come for dinner on Wednesdays will find that Rob has picked up pizza and I’ve gotten out paper plates. I don’t have extra time or effort to devote to food on Wednesday, but a little money allows us to welcome others anyway.
This Saturday, I can commit work. I’ve signed up to bring a meal to a church family, and I know I can get my boys to help me assemble lasagna. It won’t take long, and it doesn’t cost much, but we’ll give it our effort.
Sunday, I can commit time. We eat Sunday lunch around one o’clock, so if I get up early I can shove a pork roast in the oven and leave it to slow-roast for pulled-pork barbeque. It’s cheap and hands-off, all I give is time.
The trick is not to feel guilty, not to be overwhelmed by an ideal in your head, but instead to give of yourself and your home with one thing: a little money, a little work, or a little time.
You are, after all, only human.