This week, I’m prepping for a houseguest. What has this entailed? The purchase of new towels and new bedding, the formulation of an ambitious menu, and more housecleaning than should be legal. All this for someone I don’t actually know very well. But he’s a friend of my husband’s, and being a good hostess is important to me. Trust me, you don’t want spend your afterlife in the same ring of Hell as Lady Macbeth and everybody (except Lot) from Sodom and Gomorrah*, however intriguing that might appear at first blush.

It struck me, nonetheless, that I’m going through more sturm and drang for a casual acquaintance than I do for God. The pending bill from Bed, Bath & Beyond far exceeds my weekly contributions to my parish. And when’s the last time my soul took a good scrubbing? No, what I seem to leave for God are the crumbs of my life: The time I have “left over,” the last burst of energy before I nod off at night. God gets the leavings. He does not get the best of me. Not consistently.

I suppose it’s because I know He’ll understand. He sees how busy I am. He would never ask me to exhaust myself on His behalf. And yet that’s precisely why I should. He deserves it. He is unfailingly, unfalteringly kind to me. I’m sure our houseguest is a nice guy, but where was he when my husband got a shard of glass stuck in his eyeball last Friday? (Maybe you didn’t fully absorb that. I’ll say it again: GLASS. IN. HIS. EYEBALL.) You know how blessed we are that Owen’s eyesight is no worse, even after having the glass sawed out of his eye with a Dremel? God is good.

So why am I so willing to give my time away to everything and everyone else? Maybe it’s because time with God requires self-examination, and I will find myself wanting. But why does it have to? God doesn’t harp on my limitations, so maybe I should give it a rest for once, and just BE with Him. Easy, cozy, restful, simple. It’s the opposite of planning for a houseguest. It’s just comfortable cohabitation with the one I love. I can do that.

*The people of Sodom and Gomorrah were punished because they refused hospitality to some angels in disguise.

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