Simply Contemplate: Hospitality Doesn’t Have to Make Us Crazy Busy

wordy wednesday

In Crazy Busy: A Mercifully Short Book on a Really Big Problem, Kevin DeYoung doesn’t conclude that we should cut as many obligations as possible and live a secluded, contemplative, monastic lifestyle. Rather, he ends up questioning the heart, attitude, and motivation beneath our choices, and addressing the “crazy” part more than the “busy” part.


Recall the diagnostic question: Am I trying to do them good or trying to look good? Think how this question could sanctify our approach to hospitality.

One of the first and easiest things to jettison when life gets crazy is opening our homes to others. It takes not only planning and busyness about the home to be ready for such opportunities, but it also takes awareness of those outside your immediate concern.

Good hospital-ity is making your home a hospital. The idea is that friends and family and the wounded and weary people come to your home and leave helped and refreshed.

A reasonably tidy home and home-cooked meal can go a long way toward welcoming and refreshing people (including the people who live there), but it might also be true that some would be more helped to come into your real everyday, see the messy but joy-filled life, see that it’s ok to pull out frozen meatballs, because it’s more important to eat together than to stress everyone out and neglect weightier duties over the menu.

We get worked up and crazy busy in all the wrong ways because we are more concerned about looking good than with doing good.

I have a hard time not careening over to the other ditch with advice such as this, taking it as a license to not care about the state of my home at all. But both having people into our homes to care for them and taking care of the home we’ve been given are ways to do good. We don’t have to choose one over the other, actually. We just have to do the thing in front of us to do now, whether that is inviting the person or sweeping the floor.

Opening our homes takes time, but it doesn’t have to take over our lives. Christian hospitality has much more to do with good relationships than with good food. There is a fine line between care and cumber. In many instances, less ado would serve better.

Simplicity, right?

It’s okay to be busy at times. You can’t love and serve others without giving of your time. So work hard; work long; work often. Just remember it’s not supposed to be about you. Feed people, not your pride.

I think I need to read this quote daily.

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  1. This is something I am having to evaluate carefully because I am so busy with my own children and grandchildren and now caring more for my parents. I have found that one of the keys for me is enjoying any downtime without feeling I have to fill it up.

    I like the point about ‘hospital-ity’. Never thought of that.

  2. I think that is still opening your home and life to other people!

    Having downtime and margin and not completely filling every day is also addressed in the book, but I did appreciate the “hospital-ity” point and that being busy isn’t necessarily a sign something is wrong – you can be busy (with ups and downs and different seasons) from a place of rest, as Kern would put it.

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