I get awkward in new surroundings, especially if I don’t know anyone. Today was my first day at my new job. (Lunch monitor at the local school; nothing impressive, but it will help fill in the gaps until the end of the school year.) As I was preparing mentally to head out the door this morning, I remembered what I’d jotted down on my bulletin at church just yesterday.
“If you go everywhere with an attitude of hospitality you will never be alone among strangers.”
The internet definition of hospitality is “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” Hospitality is not limited to location – aka, something you do when you invite folks to your house. It’s a friendly and generous attitude towards people, which you can carry with you wherever you go. When you smile and ask people how they’re doing, you don’t leave much room in yourself to be awkward and shy.
How appropriate that God brought it to my mind right as I start a new job where I will be in constant contact with people and sorely tempted to withdraw into myself like my depression-induced non-sociable self so often wants.
This is my prayer as I finish out the last few months of the school year, that God would grant me a heart of hospitality and teach me to be hospitable even in situations where the other people are the ones who are in comfortable surroundings and I’m not. I want to be hospitable no matter where I am, whether I’m taking a plane to Georgia or hanging out helping kids with their lunch or having people in my own house or going through the checkout at Walmart.