Today, like many Thursdays, I'm thankful for our home meeting.
Home Meeting: (n.) A gathering of Christian believers in a home in order to share fellowship, and usually food, with one another in order to encourage each other for the edification of the Body of Christ.
For the past four years, we've opened our home on Thursday nights, often not knowing whether two or twelve will walk through the door with tummies a-growl. Our average demographic has shifted, over the years, from couples around our age with young children, to single folks in the their late twenties who are working for pay or an advanced degree. And this time has taught me one lesson: I AM NOT IN CONTROL.
Over the years, people have come and gone. A very few have come nearly every week for a year, two, three. A few have drifted in and out with barely a blip on our radar screen. A few have become regulars and eventually left, often due to a geographical move or even to answer a call for full-time service, but occasionally for unexplained reasons. I've been known to shed tears when that happens, because it seems almost impossible not to take a departure like that personally. I clean, I cook, I open the door, I try to touch base with everyone who comes through it to let them know their presence is a gift to us, I spend a little time at the table with everyone, then I retire to put my reluctant children to bed. When someone leaves, it not only feels like an uprooting of the almost-family relationship, but also a failure on my part. Was it something I did or didn't do? Something I said? Was the food too spicy, too hot, too cold, too salty, too plain, too gourmet? (Okay, not that last.)
Many times, at moments like these, I've asked the Lord whether we should let the meeting go. And every time, His answer has been something along these lines: Yes, you should let it go. But not in the way you think. Let it go out of your hands and let it be more fully Mine.
In the process of learning that this time is His and not mine to direct, control, and own, more peace and joy have stolen in. With less help these days, I'm doing more of the cooking on my own, but the simple act of chopping vegetables becomes a walk up to Zion. If anxiety pokes its nose in to wonder whether there will be enough for unannounced guests, I remind Him that this time and this home are His and that I expect Him to provide.
This letting go thing is such a hard-won joy, I'm wondering if it would work in other areas of my life as well. You think?
Baby steps. Baby steps.