When is the last time you had guests come over to your home for a meal? Yes, to your house? Why not? For many in these busy and challenging times, we fail to open our home up to guests. Sometimes it is simply because our circle of friends, with the internet and international communication being what it is, is remote and our local connections few. One of the biggest challenges is that the average person probably has somewhere between 2-3 close friends. Further, those friends change when we get married or into other committed relationships, not to mention have children.
Many people justify the lack of opportunities for guests in their home by citing being too busy to clean and get ready for company. You know what? The reality is that your friends probably don’t care too much about what the place looks like (as long as you aren’t a crazy cat lady or hoarder of inanimate objects). They care about you – or at least about the awesome meal you’ve prepared.
Meanwhile, if you do invite others to your home for a meal on occasion, what is your motivation for doing so? Are you truly providing the meal and hospitality to demonstrate love and blessing to others? Or are you doing so to get some emotional need met?
There is something to having people over for a meal when you genuinely are serving someone else. I’m an introvert, but I love to have people over. I’m just not very connected locally at the moment. My favorite time of year is the summer. Grilling and beers. Frankly, it doesn’t even matter how many people attend as long as there is some sort of burnt sacrifice and fermented beverage. I can handle it. I admit that reciprocity would be nice. But, at this point, I’d just like to be able to have 4-6 other people (either a guys’ night, or couples with my wife) over for dinner. That would be incentive for me to get the barbecue pit cleaned up and enjoy some wood-fired barbecue.
A friend suggested that a nice hobby to complement the grilling would be to engage in homebrewing as a hobby. She suggested it’s a great ice-breaker / conversation starter. I’m intrigued because, really, unless you have established friendships, who really wants to spend the night / evening talking about what they do for a living and their kids?
If you might be at least an ambivert or extrovert, you probably are wondering to yourself, or even out loud, “What’s wrong with that?” Probably nothing, unless repeating those conversations just saps you of social energy and capital.
So, 2015 is right around the corner and, well, winter is rough around here in the Syracuse, NY suburbs where we average almost 11′ of snow a season. However, I am committed to monthly gatherings between May and September around the deck somehow. It might only be burgers and dogs, but there will be beer. Guests will be invited – whether they show is a different story.
How do you connect with others? And, if you struggle in this, what you are committed to do to change this (assuming you want to)?