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Grand Entrances  

Is it okay with you if I gripe briefly about the hotel industry?

Diana and I just returned from a 10-day Florida trip where we stayed in three different hotels.  I noticed a common theme in all three of them: they work hard to impress you with their lobby—but not nearly as hard on the condition of your room. 

In the lobbies of all three hotels, we encountered vaulted ceilings, iridescent artwork, and hammered glass dispensers offering cucumber-infused water at the turn of a spigot. So far, so good.

All three of our hotels were name brand places.  All three had great reviews from multiple sources (I do my best to vet them). But all three had a range of significant problems in the guest rooms.

We found caulk that was cracked, yellowed, or missing.  Carpeting was often stained or worn past the obvious need to replace.  There was a toilet that protested every flush.  And one of the bathtubs—had it been in your own home—would have embarrassed you so much, you would refuse to allow guests to use it!

Keep in mind, we stayed at decent places!  Reputable chains—not sketchy one-offs.  It made me wonder, how often DO the managers perform an actual check on the condition of the product they are selling—rooms?

But lest we chastise the hotel industry too roughly, let us take a similar inventory of our hearts.  Is it not equally true of most of us that we often try to make an excessively good impression on people?

Like the hotel rooms that invariably don’t live up to their lobbies, don’t we often portray a  grand and growing spirituality as people enter the sparkling lobbies of our lives?  But inside, we are yellowed and worn—and in great need of renovation.  At least, I am.

It’s time to let the Holy Spirit do a “room check” on every chamber in our heart. It’s time for a renovation.  As 1 Samuel 16:7 reminds, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

O God, would you renovate my heart this day?  This week?  This year?  Conform me to the image of Jesus.  Show me all that needs renewal or replacement. Let the inside of me match the outside of me—and none of it like me at all!  Only Jesus!

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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