First Come, First Served? Part 2 of 4

Subtitle: A reflection for the 5th day of the Christmas season


I am an innkeeper.

Yes, daily, commercially. For I, with my wife, own and operate a bed and breakfast establishment.

Yet also daily, as truly, existentially. For, standing at the door of the metaphorical inn of my life, I make discernments and decisions about what and who to let in and to keep out. The food I eat. The places I go. The people I meet and with whom I associate. The thoughts I contemplate. The feelings I embrace. The memories I entertain. The words I say. The deeds I do.

I am an innkeeper.

And, in the realm of my life, I also am a ruler. At least (for, truth to tell, I command and control little to nothing in terms of life’s chance and circumstance) in this one sense. Daily, as Emperor Augustus of the biblical birth-narrative of Jesus (Luke 2.1), I decree that a census be taken. And, in this, I’m always counting. Time. Money. Energy. Blessings. Troubles. Friends. Connections. Credentials. Commitments. Appointments. Tasks. Accomplishments.

Especially, I, praying, “Lord, teach me to number my days that I may gain a wise heart” (Psalm 90.12; personalized), strive to be and to do with prudence and integrity. And, yes, at times, I wonder, not morbidly, but rather realistically, how many days I will be granted before I cross the threshold of death.

I am an innkeeper. The door of my life swings both ways. I let in and I keep out. I also am an imperial census taker. I always am counting.

Although, generally, I am hesitant to universalize my experience, I suspect that at least some of what I describe above is true for all of us.

More to come…

© 2020 PRA

4 thoughts on “First Come, First Served? Part 2 of 4

  1. Paul, I’m going to just say YES…. to this!! The first line blew me away… Didn’t see that coming, but YES you most certainly are an innkeeper and I can’t imagine all of the thoughts and processes that go through your mind as people step over the threshold of Clevedale Historic Inn and Gardens. I can imagine that there’s likely been at least a couple of people you would have preferred not to let in. What’s coming in part 3?



  2. Ah, my dear, Clevedale is a part of my daily reality. Still, this post delves into my equally clear realization that I am an innkeeper AND a ruler at the door and in the domain of my life. And when I think of it that way, then choosing and counting are conscious and unconscious aspects of my moment-to-moment being.

    Part 3’s coming.



    1. I hate that you know the end (née, knew the end) when you started this. You’re getting as bad as the steaming services brother Paul. Instead of letting us binged watch (read) by dropping all the episodes at once now you meet them out in daily morsels. But you know that puts a lot of pressure on the final episode don’t you. Don’t leave us disappointed. No pressure mind you 😉


      1. Ah, my dear brother, truth to tell, I cannot say that I either know or knew the end. For one of the ways or methods of my writing is that begin with an idea (usually a notion or ideation that has stirred within for some time). I, then, sit at the keyboard and write via a stream of consciousness, which is to say without thinking and, surely, without any devotion to syntax or grammar. In other words, I produce what I would term a raw thesis. Then I walk away and come back only when I sense a gnawing desire within to refine what I’ve written. Then, when or whenever that happens, the text takes shape. Sometimes I behold more than one part (as in this case, four). However, as in this case, I post part 1 of 4, which puts pressure on me in the next day, then the next, then the next, to refine parts 2, 3, 4. I never quite know how it will evolve until it does.


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