If Company Is Coming, There Are Lots More Jobs To Get Done

Ed, my neighbor next door, was focused on his harvesting last week and out of sight at his farm. All he could see was his need to get his harvesting done. My neighbor was, ‘combine,’ deep in his work. Isn’t it interesting, that jobs can appear like magic at certain times? Strange but if company is coming things appear that need picking up or tidying up all of a sudden. Some folks are so organized and tidy that their houses are like show homes twenty-four hours a day. Then there are folks who live on two levels. Level one is normal and relaxed and comfortable. Level two is high alert because guests are coming, and things have to look better than normal. “We have to get ready – company is coming,” is a war cry to which many of us have rallied.

Even those who love to have people visit them do not want company to come any day and time that suits their fancy. Guests are welcome most when the host is prepared and ready for them. When we put our house up for sale, we knew we were going from level one to level two. My wife left last week to travel with our daughter for three weeks, and I have to keep things looking better than normal by myself. It seems that I can be messy enough for several people. I’m beginning to understand why people hire a cleaning lady or a janitorial service. There is a level three that I’m facing, and that is called panic level. If the real estate agent calls and says that he wants to bring people through our house, can I be ready in time to move our house from relaxed to company presentable? It keeps me sweating just thinking about it. With just me at home just now, I have no one I can blame if the house looks worse than normal. It is a humbling situation when there is no one to blame but yourself.

Most of us are rather good at blaming other people for what goes wrong in our lives. Not only do we blame other folks, but we may set our hearts on getting even. Then of course, we keep a record of what person has done us wrong and how many times. Perhaps it would be better if we kept a record of how many times someone has forgiven us. We want others to forgive us, but we may not want to forgive others. Jesus tells of a king who was settling his accounts, and found before him a servant who owed him, ‘big time.’ He owed the king such a large debt that he would never be able to repay the king. The servant asked the king to be patient with him. The king was more than patient with him and forgave the servant the complete huge debt. Sadly the servant did not pass his gift of mercy along to a fellow servant. He refused to forgive a small debt owed to him. We may freely give others blame but not forgiveness. Jesus taught, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.”

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