Just One Night in a Bad Motel
I read somewhere that one of the four noble truths of Buddhism is that “Suffering exists,” or “Life is difficult,” or something like that. I do not know much about Buddhism, but ol’ Buddha got that one right. Buddha might have been wrong about some things, but he was right about life being difficult. Life in this world is often very difficult, and the sooner you accept that fact, the sooner you will be able to cope with the difficulties of life.
There are some difficulties in life that we can avoid or escape, but there are other difficulties which are unavoidable and inescapable. When life deals you those kinds of difficulties, and God does not miraculously remove those difficulties, you have to resign yourself to enduring whatever measure of pain and suffering those difficulties cause. You have to make the best of a bad situation.
One thing that helps me to cheerfully endure the difficulties of life is to think of my life in this age as just one night in a bad motel. Let me explain.
In my travels I have stayed at many motels, some of them nice and some of them not so nice. Sometimes a motel looks nice at first, but after you check in and haul your luggage into your room, you realize the motel is not as nice as you thought it was. The air conditioner is too noisy, or the neighbors in the next room are noisy, or the bathroom faucet drips, or the water does not get hot enough, or the lighting is insufficient, or the bed is not very comfortable, or the paint is peeling, or the plaster is crumbling, or the towels are thin and threadbare, or the room is not very clean.
Difficulties like these can disappoint you. If the room is bad enough, you can tell the innkeeper that you changed your mind and demand a refund. But I suspect most people probably just do what I do. If I’ve already gone to the trouble to check in, and I’ve parked my car and carried my luggage into the room, I just resign myself to the minor inconveniences for one night. I tell myself that it’s just one night in a bad motel. This is not my permanent home. I’m just passing through. Tomorrow I’ll be checking out and I’ll be leaving this bad motel behind. Things will be better tomorrow.
I often deal with the unavoidable and inescapable difficulties of life in much the same way. I tell myself that life in this age is just one night in a bad motel. This present world is not my permanent home. I’m just passing through. Someday I’ll be checking out and I’ll leave this sad life behind. Things will be better in the next age, after the Lord returns and raises the dead and sets up His glorious everlasting kingdom wherein will be no more pain or suffering or sorrow or grief of any kind. I can cheerfully endure one lifetime in a bad motel when I know that I am going to have eternity in a mansion in the age to come.
That might sound like a simplistic way to cope with difficulties, but it works. It works because it’s true. So the next time you feel weighed down by the weight of living, remind yourself that it will soon pass. It’s just one night in a bad motel. After you check out, you will leave this bad motel behind and spend eternity in a mansion.