He Saw Himself as the Host

This is going to be a tad long, but I like it and think it’s worth sharing. This is a little devo from Jesus In Blue Jeans (Laurie Beth Jones).

He Saw Himself as the Host

When Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana, an event at which he was a guest, he actually took on the duties of the host. This deed, I believe, eloquently conveyed his attitude toward the world. “He came not to be served, but to serve.” -John 2:1

When I started my business, I began the task of networking as if the life of the company depended on it. In fact, it did because I had no money for advertising. The only way I coudl let people know about the service I provided was to show up in person and tell them. A colleague gave me very wise advice about how to take the discomfort out of the many networking parties I attended. She said, “Act as if you’re the hose at the party, rather than the guest.”

I tried it both ways. I went to one party and acted like the guest (since that was the much easier assignment). I waited for someone to come up to me and ask me who I was and whether I had enough to eat and whether the temperature of the room was okay with me and if the music was too loud, etc. That night I met two people.

The next week I took the other approach. I pretended that the party was actually my own and made sure to reach out to people who looked a little nervous and do what I could to introduce them to others (even though I knew no one there myself). The results were astoundingly different. I came home with twenty business cards from different people whom I had actually connected with–because I had treated them as my guests. Acting like the host led me to reach out to more people. It put me in a proactive, rather than reactive, stance.

My niece Tara (who was born a redhead) doesn’t have a shy bone in her body. When my sister took her to school for the first time she told her, “Tara, try to make at least one new friend today.” When Kathy picked her up that afternoon, Tara practically leaped into the car. “I made six friends today, Mommy!” she smiled. When Kathy asked her how she had done that, the six-year-old answered, “Well, I just looked around the playground at all the kids and said to myself, ‘I’ll just pretend that this is my birthday party, and “Let ‘er rip!”‘”

I recently stayed at the Philadelphia Airport Marriot. Being a frequent traveler, I am used to varying degrees of service. What impressed me about this place was how courteous and friendly everyone was to me–from the clerk at the check in desk to the bellman who helped me with my luggage to the person who delivered room service to the person who took my messages. Finally, as I was leaving, I turned to the shuttle driver and said, “Why do I feel so cared about here? This place has been wonderful!” He smiled and said, “Well, Ms. Jones, the way I see it, when you’re here, you are my guest, and I want to do everything in my power to make sure you feel like this is your second home. I guess everyone else who works here feels the same way.”

In the book The Aladdin Factor, authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanson have developed a formula to use as an aid for extending yourself. They use the intials SWSWSWSW, which stands for “Some Will, Some Won’t, So What, Someone’s Waiting.” This acronym is an excellent encouragement for putting yourself out to others in new and perhaps challenging ways. Some will receive you. Some won’t. So what? Someone’s waiting.

Jesus knew that not everybody would want to come to his party. Nevertheless, he was concerned about the ones who would accept his invitation. He wasn’t there to be invited–he was there to invite.

He saw himself as the host.

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