Long long ago, Abraham and Sarah lived beneath the great trees of Mamre and three strangers met them there. When Abraham saw them coming, he ran from his tent to meet them and bowed before them and offered to wash their feet and provide them food to eat.
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
So Abraham ran back to his wife Sarah and the two of them worked on preparing a meal for these strangers.
The story continues to develop from here but I can’t help but be amazed by their hospitality. Hospitality literally means “friendliness to strangers.” Cool huh?
I’m always amazed by this story because it is the farthest thing that would ever happen in our culture today. Yet I wish it did. Who wouldn’t want a home cooked, home grown meal and a foot scrub as your traveling somewhere? Everyday I’d be on vacation with those services! All in all, I’m amazed at how the ancients really had a grasp on being friendly to strangers.
I want to turn this conversation a different direction. Take a guess how many strangers you will meet in your lifetime? Have any guesses? I’m not asking how many people you’ll see in a crowd or on a screen, but how many people you’ll have face-to-face conversations with. I’ll make an exception for those of you who have Facetime or Skype friends you’ve never physically met… but really try to imagine how many people you will personally interact with in your lifetime? The interaction can range from something as simple as a wave, a greeting, a smile, to the more significant life long friendships.
Have any guesses?
Someone somewhere estimated that by the time you reached 90 years old, you would have met about 100,000 people (and this person was being generous).
That is a ton of people. Also, did you know by the time you’ve reached 90 you would have lived almost 33,000 days? Someone somewhere did the math… but it’s not that hard (90 x 365 = 33,000). On average, that means you will meet at least three new people everyday to meet 100,000 people over your lifetime.
Three strangers a day!
How are these interactions going? Remember, your best friend was once a stranger to you. May your interactions with be sweet, may they be holy, may you show hospitality like the ancients did. Enjoy your day!
I’m excited who I’ll meet today!