Sunday, May 17, 2015

No Extended Stay for Me

I'm sure we're all well acquainted with extended stay motels. You know, the "home-away-from-home", completely furnished with everything thing you need to be comfortable - pet friendly, free Wi-Fi, low cost, etc. You can stay a few days, a week, a month or a more extended length of time. How convenient, right? While this isn't the type of place I'd prefer to stay, sometimes I find that I frequent a place much like it without thinking.

Sometimes memories can be like one of these hotels. There are times when a memory pops into my mind and although it is an unpleasant one and caused me pain, instead of immediately moving on and keeping the visit short, I tend to stay a bit longer than I need to. (Today, I realized I've done this again, so I know what I'm talking about. Just keeping it real, folks.) These types of stays are not vacations; they're more like dreaded business trips. So why do we stay? Before I realized it, I found myself stressed out, blood pressure up and feeling really cranky. Doesn't sound too enjoyable, does it? Certainly not. You know, those memories can pop up at any time (We have little control over that! The littlest thing can bring a memory to mind.); the trick is not to check in as an extended stay-er. Visit and move on...quickly.

When we unpack our bags at an Extended Stay of Ugly Memories, more often than not, we'll find ourselves rooming with the enemy of our souls. No matter how "alone" you might feel at that moment, you're certainly not. In those places, he slips up to us and begins to add lies about our character to the mixture of memories and before we know it we can find ourselves in a state of hopelessness. Check-out. Move on down the road. We might not be able to control what memories or thoughts pop into our minds, however, we can control whether we check-in for longer than we need to. Realizing it was in the past, that God brought you through it, and that you aren't required to hang out there anymore can help you find freedom. (Remember, God is with you too.) Don't be fooled by the "fully furnished" tag. You don't want or need anything that will tempt you to get comfortable there. You'll always end up hurt and disappointed. That's just the facts.

So, I remind myself and encourage you too, don't check in at this Extended Stay with such memory baggage. Keep your visit brief then drive on. As a counselor once told me, "Don't stay there." (Makes so much sense, but I still fall for it at times.) It's not worth any of the amenities advertised, period. Cast your cares (and memories) on Jesus and let Him give you sweet peace of mind. He desires us to experience victory and freedom in Him. Just remember this: No Extended Stay for me. (I'll take the Hilton instead.)

Dear God, 
Thank you for reminding me of this today. 
I'm not intended to "settle in" -
I'm meant to travel on.