"In a hotel room you can be anywhere in the world"
I particularly like this quote. Why? Because I penned it myself. Ha ha, I knew that would get you. So I decided today to give you the story behind it.
People travel all over the world for many different reasons: holiday, business, family, friends. I am willing to bet that most adults have spent at least one night alone somewhere, whether at home or otherwise.
The question could be asked: Why do we travel so much? Or, what is the purpose of this trip? Or even, Why do I have to be here?... Whatever the question and whatever the answer is, when we are alone it brings us to a place of reckoning. Not big judgment reckoning, but in the small place that is our heart.
I am sure you, like me have had many occasions to sit and be still for a few minutes, or perhaps longer, to think about where we are and what we are doing. Some thoughts might chill us, others encourage us and others lead us to question motives and actions in our lives.
One such thought occurred to me one day, I forget where I was, but I must have been in a hotel or a place that wasn't my home at the time. As I sat there on the bed closed in by the four walls of the room with only my window as the glimpse of the outside world, I pondered on the thought "where am I?"
That could be a simple or profound question, depending on your circumstances, but it is one that nonetheless needs to be answered: "Where am I?". In truth, we all need to know where we are. If you are driving somewhere and you have no road signs, how do you know when youve reached your destination? Or how long it will take to get there?
Similarly if we have goals and no indications on how near we are to achieving them, how will we know the measure of our success? We look for visual signs: If dieting our clothes get bigger, if running, we get stronger and faster, if studying, remembering more
Its very easy with hindsight to chart our success or lack of it thereof. So what do people do when there is no one to turn to? No one to share their joys and pain with? What if there are people who are cut off from the mainstream? What importance is their success if there is no-one to share it with?
Sounds a bit morbid, a bit depressing, but have you ever asked yourself the question: If I had no one to share my success with, what would I do? We were put on this earth to live in community God even said I have set the lonely in families. Why? We need each other.
There is a famous poem by John Donne:
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
(It was written more than 50 years ago so I don't think I will be in any trouble.)
Whether we like it or not, we were created social beings. So back to my quote: "In a hotel room, you can be anywhere in the world." When you are behind 4 walls and a locked door, you can't see the landscape. You can't experience the local smells and sights. You don't know what is happening outside the room. You don't have to speak in another language. You dont have to adapt to another culture. You can be who you are, and no-one else would know: Youre in a hotel room, shut off from everything. It doesn't matter what town or city or country you are in, its all the same- in a hotel room!!!
The difference is when we step out of that room and see what there is to discover all around us.
The same is true of life, to live it we have to step out of ourselves and discover that life is waiting to happen. Man makes plans, but its God who directs the path... If there are no plans how can we possibly be directed?
Its time to step out of the hotel room and see what is waiting for us.
Adele Threadgold lives in Panamá with her two dogs. She enjoys writing and sharing her thoughts with others
"I think writing links the imagination to the real world: You can write your thoughts down on paper and translate them to anyone, anywhere, and people can pick them up and be inspired."