The Parable of The Economy Inn

The Parable of the Economy Inn (1,163)

May 31st, 2011

One of the aspects of touring is using Monday as a relocation time—to travel to the next destination and set up a headquarters for the week. Yes, we do try to place ourselves in a central position whereas to more easily move among our engagements during the stay. This means we have to seek out lodging.

One of the things you learn as a professional (I mean, a professional at traveling…) is that a motel room is a motel room is a motel room. The more expensive ones do have fluffier towels, larger bars of soap, lotion in addition to shampoo and sometimes eggs offered at the breakfast instead of just toast and cereal. Other than that, folks, most of the time with the large chains you’re just paying for the name and the mint on your pillow. We have a list of things we require for our comfort, and once those are achieved, we just settle into a home life as normal as one can have in the position of a vagabond. Of course, mainly we are conscientious to use the funds and offerings provided by the good folks we meet as prudently and efficiently as possible.

Such was our plan yesterday on our way to Central Illinois to deposit ourselves for the coming seven-day span. We arrived at The Economy Inn. Honestly, the word “economy” neither stimulates my interest nor repulses me, but actually usually ends up meaning very little. In other words, not everything that calls itself a duck can actually quack. And not every business named “Economy” actually is. We checked out the rooms and we ran across the “three strike” principle: Strike 1: It really didn’t look that great. (Actually, you can judge a book by its cover, because every smart person knows that is really how a book is judged.) Strike 2: It was small. (By the way—I am big. Immediate dilemma.) Strike 3: And finally, the internet and phone service was spotty. Understanding baseball, three strikes and you’re out. One of the main problems people have is when they begin to argue with the umpire over the strikes instead of heading to the dugout to make another plan. So even though I was tired and wanted to settle in, this was not our place.

If you’re not afraid of trial, you can embrace adaptation, which, by the grace of God, very often does provide a better choice. Adding a bit of insult to injury, as we headed out of town we got backed up in some sort of traffic jam for a local tractor pull or something, and decided that was not the direction to go, so turned around and headed the other way. We called a motel we had checked out earlier in another community, and launched towards a new destination, even though it was not ideally located.

But first we prayed. May I tell you dear souls that knowing when to pray is the whole secret to prayer? One should not pray when there are still available resources which can be effectively used. We need not pray to God when we haven’t actually evaluated what we already know and what we don’t. And honestly, it is useless to pray to God if you do not plan to pursue and back up that prayer with an active passion to find a better way.

So our prayer was simple: “We have some miles to drive before we get to the next motel, so dear God, if you can show us someplace that is better suited to our traveling needs, we’re watching.”

Yes—that was Jesus’ formula for success. “Watch and pray.”

Did you notice where “watch” comes? “Watch” is in the head, trailed by “pray.” So we watched as we prayed. About twelve miles later, at an exit off the freeway (which, by the way, was the central artery of our weekly existence) was a beautiful motel sitting all by itself, waiting for us. We walked in, struck a deal with the innkeeper, and even ended up with fluffy towels.

It was a good day. A “good day” consists of a four-step process:

· Show up without complaining.

· Have a plan.

· Be prepared for that plan to change.

· Make the adaptation your own.

That’s all there is to it. There are no “chosen people” in the kingdom of God—just people who decide to choose well.

You, too, can escape the perils of The Economy Inn and find your perch, perfectly positioned on the freeway of life. It’s just a matter of accepting the notion that a traffic jam means to go the other way, and while you’re traveling, you might as well include the Father in what you’re doing.

Published in: on May 31, 2011 at 12:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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