What is your favorite hotel memory? It’s an odd question, but I’ve actually heard amazing hotel stories, from horrible experiences that can finally elicit laughter many years later, to wonderful memories with family members who have passed on. Often the memories we carry with us are not from normal day-to-day life, but from special events or curious travels we shared with a few people along the way. I’d love to hear your stories!
I’ve been blessed to travel all over the world and I have many of my own hotel stories filed away in my memory books.
One little-known-tidbit is that I love watching old Johnny Carson re-runs because when I was young and we drove to family vacations during the summer and Christmas holidays, my parents, sisters and I would always share one cheap motel room (and therein lie other stories––the room that wasn’t to be rented, chili issues, my lot on the cot, etc). As we drifted off to sleep, my dad would watch The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and I did my best to fend off sleep and watch the opening monologue and the bits with live animals. Good times, good times…
Last month, my husband and I spent a long weekend in New York City. What a blast sharing the NY Christmas experience with him. The hotel we stayed at was absolutely beautiful. But on the first morning as we started getting ready for the day I made a grim discovery: there were no Bibles in the room.
Gideon had not been allowed in.
Shocking! The cheap, run down motel rooms of my youth always had at least one Bible in the night table, but this lush hotel in the heart of one of the most important cities in the world had none. Travesty!
I’m still moved by the sense of sadness I felt that morning.
Sadness, not because I needed a Bible––I had access to two. But because others may not know the Word or how to find it, and this room would be of no help. Someone staying here could need encouragement or be in a situation where their heart is open to the gospel. But they wouldn’t find it here.
God led me to the Scriptures that morning: 2Thessalonians 2:13-3:5 (see below). We live in a society that is phasing out God’s Word from everyday places. Christ’s love and sacrifice are no longer the message of Christmas. People who haven’t experienced the redemption and freedom of new life in Christ are offended if you say that there is only one God and only one sure way to heaven through His Son, Jesus.
In many ways, it’s because the Word is no longer being opened, read, memorized and prayed.
As followers of Christ, let’s pray and live such that the Word of God and His gospel message of love and freedom can run swiftly through us as we interact with others. May Jesus be glorified as we speak and live out Truth. Just as others have gone before us and spread the Good News of eternal salvation, may we live worthy of God’s calling to share the same message with those in our circles of influence. May we throw off everything that hinders and run with perseverance the race marked out for us by Christ.
So next time you stay in or pass by a hotel or motel, think about how you can be the living Word placed purposefully for the benefit of someone else. May they see and hear God’s truth, love, light and hope through you.
“From the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
“Pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1 (NKJV)
May I pray?
Jesus, You are the God of hope. You are the Christ and true Christmas message that lasts all year long. You are the Good News gospel of freedom and eternal salvation. Open our eyes today to see Your glory. Move us to praise You as if today could be our first day in heaven. Teach us to live as an open book of love and praise–– a book that shares You with all who touch it. May we reflect Your light in the pages of our daily lives. Amen.
Q4U: What is your favorite hotel memory?