Guest / Limited Access /

I travel from time to time. Unfortunately, this requires sleeping in hotel rooms. My last hotel stay had me pondering the differences between a hotel room and my own home. The "hospitality" industry specializes in the sterile and generic. I can hope for little more than clean sheets, hot water, and maybe a coffee machine. Even luxury hotels, despite elegant fixtures and expensive amenities, are designed for standardized guests. Any art on the walls is mass-produced.

One hotel room is the same as another. But my house, with all its quirks, is a home: a long-term habitat, a place of relationships and authentic hospitality. I don't feel like a guest. Indeed, even my guests shouldn't feel like guests, but like family.

For these reasons, I treat a hotel room much differently than my home. I don't trash hotel rooms, but neither am I invested in them. I wouldn't spend any money to redecorate the walls or to fix a broken drain in the tub. But I'm always thinking about maintaining and improving my home: adding new art or furniture, modifying rooms, installing a screen porch, redesigning a kitchen—and, of course, fixing what breaks. Because I am committed to my home, my attitude is fundamentally different.

This raises an important question: What is our attitude toward the world we live in? How do we treat God's physical creation, the cosmos into which he placed us? Like a home, or a hotel? Our answer is shaped in part by our eschatology. How do we view the end times? After all, our lifespan is just an infinitesimally small drop of time compared with the great ocean of eternity. If we look forward to being whisked away from this physical world at death—taken away with those who followed God, while the sinners are "left behind"—then ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedExodus: Gods and Kings
Exodus: Gods and Kings
Ten reasons to not be hardhearted toward Ridley Scott’s biblical epic.
TrendingPope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
Pope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
(UPDATED) Warren turns Vatican conference into 'revivalist meeting,' while Moore explains why marriage crosses theological boundaries.
Editor's PickSt. Nick, Patron of Pawn Shops
St. Nick, Patron of Pawn Shops
The little-known history of Christianity’s icon of generosity.
Comments
Christianity Today
Who Gets Left Behind?
hide thisJune June

In the Magazine

June 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.