I had a friend over for lunch after Bible study today. What fun! But last night wasn’t so fun. I went to the store and discovered that they were out of the main ingredient for the dessert I planned to make. The house was a mess and I didn’t have time to tackle everything.
I felt a little better when I found a recipe for a dessert that topped my original plan. Best of all, I had all the ingredients in the cupboard and didn’t need to beg my husband for a second trip to the store. But the house still plagued me. That is, until a gentle voice reminded me, “Jeanette, having a friend over for lunch is supposed to be enjoyable. Karen does not expect perfection. She knows you work, are busy, and have had a crazy life lately. She just wants to spend time with you. Lighten up!”
A line that I’d heard from many women at church echoed in my mind: “She’s coming to see you, not your house.”
So I ran a mop over the kitchen and dining room floors, dusted areas that she would actually see, and tidied up the living room. She didn’t need to know that I’d tossed stacks of laundry and baskets of toys into the bedrooms and shut the doors. Letting go of my need to impress put the fun back into getting ready for Karen’s visit. When we sat down to eat, we cared too much about the food, talking and laughing to worry about anything I’d let go.
How often do we take the fun out of an event by striving for perfection that nobody is concerned about but us? This lunch experience reminded me to focus on what matters most—people. Obviously it’s polite to bring a friend into a clean room but if a stray magazine is going to offend her . . . Praise God that I have a friend who is NOT thrown off by such things. She didn’t even mind the cat jumping on the table.
When have you caught yourself getting so consumed by details that you risked erasing the enjoyment? How has God helped you lighten up? Your stories are always fun to hear!