Over the last week, I’ve had some opportunities to practice hospitality in an unlikely place — my car. I love practicing hospitality, but I usually think of it in two ways: 1.) having people in my home, 2.) taking meals somewhere. So, I’m usually more mindful of the readiness of the house than the state of my car. (OK, who am I kidding? I’m always more mindful about the cleanliness of the house. The only time I think about the cleanliness of my car is a brief twinge of guilt whenever I happen to look in the back seat… which isn’t that often).
As a single working girl, I tend to keep a very utilitarian view of my car. It’s there to take me places and haul things around. I didn’t think about it needing the same kind of peaceful atmosphere for hospitality that my home does. That is, until I had the fourth round of surprise guests needing the hospitality of my car. (I can be dense…). If I have half empty water bottles, a Kleenex box, items to be returned, and dishes (I know, right?) scattered around the inside of my car, I have a feeling that my car will speak of stress much louder than my cheerfulness will speak of peace.
Granted, I’m not going to decorate or invest as much time in my car as my house, but I am now starting to ask myself: Is the car clean? Does it smell good? Am I a safe and courteous driver? Do I tend to let the gas needle get dangerously close to empty? And I’m learning to take a few minutes to make sure my car is as hospitable as my home.