No Vacancy

What is your worst hotel experience?

Mine occurred over Labor Day weekend during graduate school. On a whim, my friend and I traveled to Laredo to do some serious shopping before classes started the following Wednesday. We drove from Austin and arrived about midnight … without reservations for lodging.

no vacancyDid you know that half of Texas travels to Laredo for 3-day holiday weekends? They must because the next 20+ hotels we spotted either flashed “No Vacancy” or housed droopy-eyed desk clerks who greeted us with a dispassionate, “Sorry, No room. We’re full.”

An hour later, as we trudged toward the exit of yet another filled hotel, the clerk offered a glimmer of hope. “Try one block behind us. He may have something.”

We followed the clerk’s directions to the motel. Arriving, we didn’t even care that it’s rundown appearance made it look like the Bates Motel in Psycho.  We registered for the last room.

It’s door opened to a musty smell and two mini-twin beds jammed against opposing walls. Dingy sheets and lumpy pillows adorned each mattress. A single light bulb hung from the ceiling and cast shadows off yellowing wallpaper. Tattered curtains separated the sleeping area from the bathroom. Accommodations included a 2’x2′ shower, a toilet with no lid, a wall-hung sink, and a 1’x1′ mirror losing its glazing. Hair and make-up ain’t lookin’ pretty tomorrow, I mused.

My friend and I stared around the room, silently running through our options. She glanced at her watch. 1:30 AM. Reaching the same conclusion at the same time, we sighed in unison and dropped our bags on the floor.

I think about that ill-fated trip around Christmas holidays. No one had room for us, and no innkeeper had room for Mary and Joseph. How many missed entertaining the Christ child because they were already brimming with guests and activity?

And, what about me? I step back to re-evaluate my priorities. Am I the innkeeper? So occupied with busyness that I don’t make room for Jesus? So full of Santa, shopping, and dashing through stores that a “No Vacancy” sign hangs over my head?

I vow to make my journey to the manger different this year. To put Christ at the center of Christ-mas. To purge the clutter and make room at the inn. Instead of the barn out back, to give Him the “suite” spot in my life.

How do you make room for Christ in Christ-mas?

While they were there [Mary and Joseph], the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:6-7, NIV).

©2013 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.


About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
This entry was posted in Christmas stories, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to No Vacancy

  1. Debbie J. says:

    I needed this at the beginning of the month. Good analogy. Merry Christmas! Debbie J

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s