"The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become." -Charles DuBois
"But that's just not me!"
How often have you heard, or said, that?
Last week, we had an unexpected guest drop in on us for a couple of days. I met Sam at the meditation center I visited last September. But since we weren't expecting him, I admit I was feeling a little bit put out and not too hospitable at first. My husband and I both had prior engagements the evening he arrived so we left the 23-year-old traveler alone in the house with instructions to make himself at home and use whatever he could find in our mostly empty pantry and refrigerator to fix himself dinner.
Much to my surprise, when I returned from my meeting the house was filled with the delicious fragrance of homemade soup. Sam had put together ingredients that I didn't even know I had and made something really wonderful not only for himself but for all three of us. What a treat to come home to that delicious meal!
Earlier, when I looked in the pantry I had thought, "There's nothing to eat." But Sam looked in the pantry and thought, "I can make something wonderful with these ingredients."
I "know" that cooking is not my gift. It just doesn't come naturally to me. But I wonder what would happen if I sacrificed that self-perception. What would happen if I focused on becoming a good cook instead? What if, instead of trying to make meals "quick and easy" I focused on making them delicious?
Sam not only cooked for us both evenings that he was here, he also meditated with me twice a day, which helped me to get back on track with my own practice. The message for me? Sometimes by extending hospitality we receive more than we give.
Sam's visit made me want to become a better, more creative cook and more disciplined in my meditation practice. It also made me more willing to offer hospitality to others, even when it might be inconvenient for me. Now I just need to be willing to sacrifice old habits, thought patterns and routines in order to do so.
What would you like to become? What do you need to sacrifice to be who you want to be?
"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it." -Hebrews 13:2