So I spoke in Memphis recently. I was treated royally. Directions to the hotel were sent in advance. I was greeted at the door and it was held open and I was welcomed when I arrived on site. I was introduced regally. The remarks after my offering were encouraging. I even got a book as a gift, engraved with my name and the date and signed by the elders. Nice. There was only one little mishap. A little background - I have for years with my sons, with friends, anytime I was going into a hotel room opened the door and then jumped back “Oh, I’m sorry, excuse us.” It’s funny the first time (at least I think it is) but the 200th time not so much. It got to be one of those standing jokes with Melanie and the boys. They knew it was coming before I did it - but I’d do it anyway. Not this time though: the lady at the front desk was nice and checked me in without any problem (that is not really the norm - I can’t name the number of times the congregation was handling the room and they had not, or the hotel had not understood, etc. Typically I will just put it on my debit card and most often they’ll work it out - but not always). I took my key up to 418 - first door on the right off the elevator. “Close, good I thought.” Then I tried my key. It worked well but when I pushed the door open, my little joke became a reality. There was a suitcase just inside, there was a towel on the bathroom sink and a pair of jeans on an unmade bed. I quickly closed the door back - there must have been no one in the room for no one hollered out or chased me down when I retreated to the front desk to explain. It slid through my mind that maybe the church had me sharing a room and just had forgotten to tell me - but that wasn’t the case and I got another room - this one previously unoccupied.
It got me to thinking: It took my all of 2 seconds (maybe less) to realize as I opened that door that it was not where I needed to be. Where are you that you don’t need to be?
In the critic room? Have you made yourself the Roger Ebert of your church? Finding the fault, the weakness, the reasons it falls short? Ask God to help you see the best in His church and help make the spirit there better by your presence.
In the porn room? You know if you are there and you know you shouldn’t be. Confess this demon to a trusted friend to whom you can be accountable.
In the gossip room? Do you find yourself constantly talking bad of others? It is hard to love when you are talking bad about another - get out - quick. This room will destroy you.
In the faithless room? Is your life no longer manifesting the faith it once embraced, confessed, followed? Have you found prayer, study, faithfulness in worship, action, dreams difficult? Pull back. Dip your soul in faith anew and get going in the right direction again.