I experienced a profound realization at a seminar today. The leader asked us about our most important personal values. I easily–and sometimes shamefully–recounted my work ethic, time management, pursuit of happiness, and status. I deeply value such things.
But then the leader asked, “Which value do you most wish to pass on to your children?”
It was none of these! What I value most suddenly felt foolish.
I found myself without hesitation wanting my children to value hospitality.
It’s because success–and the corresponding values of hard work, efficiency, and chasing happiness–mean very little without community and belonging.
I’d rather my children have a full kitchen table of friends and family than a wall full of degrees and awards. I would say one measure of success is how deeply connected we are to family and community. I wish for my daughters to open their hearts more and more to the spirit of hospitality that seeks to serve and bless others. As they invite others to belong, they will tap into more and more of the joy of the Lord.
I know this now after a lifetime of hard work, efficiency, and seeking happiness.