I had houseguests a while back. They were invited to live with us and given free reign of the house, given bedrooms, bathrooms, allowed to bring all their stuff…you know, LIVE with us. Not temporary visitors, but people living with us. They moved in all their junk, and then set up camp. They refused to use our beautiful newly-remodeled kitchen, but instead set up a make-shift kitchen in our unfinished laundry room, complete with a fridge, hot plate, microwave, toaster oven, rolling cabinets and the like. They lived like squatters in my beautiful house, as if they weren’t really welcome. It offended me, and offends me still, that they proceeded to act like unwanted guests rather than allowing me to graciously share my home.
They then let all my friends and family know how they were “making do” in my house, how with their ingenuity they were “managing” to make it work. They gave our mutual friends and acquaintances the idea that I was less than gracious, less than kind. To this day there are those who believe we somehow forced this on these people (who are family, by the way.)
It has bothered and offended me for a long time, but as I sit here this morning, I am suddenly wondering if this isn’t how we/I treat God. If we don’t “move in” at his gracious invitation and he shows us around the place, shows us all the benefits of living in this new life, but then proceed to make-do with the crappy odds and ends we take with us from our old life, and the crappy stuff we manage on our own.
Do I understand that my gracious host has made me family? Do I grasp that he WANTS to share all these good things with me? Do I give his reputation a black eye when I make do with my own crap instead of taking what he has offered so freely?