My family and I have been on a road trip for the last ten days. We have spent a lot of time in hotel rooms and we have enjoyed their many amenities – the pool, the continental breakfasts, the free coffee, the housekeeping services, etc. It is great to live in a hotel. Nothing (other than covering the cost of the room) is my problem: If I run out of clean towels, I call the front desk; if the television doesn’t work, I call the front desk; if I need another pillow, I call the front desk. Life in a hotel is nearly perfect.
There’s only one thing wrong with living in a hotel: it is not home. Despite the fact that I don’t have to cook my own eggs or make my own bed in the hotel, I would choose those chores and the dozen others that are part of ordinary life to be home. At home I have my own bed that enables me to sleep soundly. At home I have all the things to which I have become accustomed, like an HDTV with all the channels I watch and know. At home I have all my clothing and culinary choices at my disposal, not just what is in the suitcase or vending machine. There are aspects of life that cannot be found at the Comfort Inn or Hyatt Place.
[Jesus said,] “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:2-3
In a number of ways, our earthly existence is much like living in a hotel. We experience the basic comforts of life – shelter, rest and refreshment – but nothing we use to secure these comforts are truly our possessions. We are able to experience new and different blessings but they are not truly consistent or predictable. We also experience the frustrations of our limited resources and long for the day that we truly have all the time, space and clean clothing we need. Whether we recognize it from an earthly perspective as we sit in a hotel room with 5 other people or from an eternal perspective as we sit in a church or hospital or funeral parlor: we all long to go home.
The good news for me and my family is that we are headed home. We’ve had a wonderful time with family, enjoying a great visit and a beautiful wedding. We had a great time, just the 6 of us as we travelled 2,600 miles (we even got to see Charlie Daniels fiddle to his finest) and spent a large amount of time in close proximity with one another. We have a few more hours in hotels and on the interstate and then we’ll be where we belong. We are headed home.
I can only imagine another day, another season, when I will be going home. On that day there will be no more rented rooms or tents to shelter my soul; I will be ushered into the home my Savior prepared and appointed for my pleasure. All the things I long for and desire will be afforded me and I will rest in peace. Living in these hotel rooms has made me long for home, however long it may take to get there. And I long to see you there, too.