This article is the second in a series of articles in which we attempt to learn some spiritual and life lessons from my experiences in managing hotels. Not to toot my own horn, but the guest service scores have always been high in the hotels which I have worked. I learned from two of the best hotel men in the business. These articles glean from what I have been taught and practiced. I am confident that some of these lessons translate into great spiritual lessons. The first article was about Calling People By Name. This second article is about providing a clean hotel for the guests.
Nothing is more revolting to a hotel guest than walking into a dirty hotel room. Likewise, our lives should be clean. The God who comes to us and dwells inside of us is a holy God. He desires that we be holy, too.
A clean hotel does not happen by accident. It requires committed people with a deliberate schedule. Here is a rough sketch of that schedule (I can’t give away all of the secrets).
1. Immediate Cleaning
Let’s say that a man is walking through the hotel lobby with a soft drink in his hand. He loses the grip on his drink and it falls to the ground spilling onto the lobby floor. When should somebody clean up this mess? Should we wait until the lobby attendant arrives on their normal schedule of cleaning the lobby floor? Obviously not. For the sake of safety and cleanliness, somebody has to clean it up immediately.
When you do something that you know is sinful and displeasing to God, should you wait until the worship service on Sunday or for your quiet time the next morning to confess this to God? Absolutely not. Acknowledge your sin right away. The longer you allow unconfessed sin to linger, the more staining it becomes.
2. Daily Cleaning
A hotel room can be thoroughly cleaned one day and still it will need to be cleaned the next day. Sheets and towels need to be exchanged with clean ones. Let’s face it, people are dirty. They have dirty shoes that walk on the carpets. They leave trash around the room, etc. So each day a housekeeper is assigned to clean that room.
In a similar fashion, we are all dirty. We can be cleaned up, but then we get dirty again. The only solution is to come before God daily confessing our sins and being cleansed. Each day we should exchange our dirty garments for clean ones.
3. Deep Cleaning
All good hotels will have a deep cleaning schedule. This is the time to pull down the curtains and replace them with clean ones. A myriad of other details that escape the daily cleaning are caught at this time.
Spiritually, we need occasional times when we thoroughly get cleansing in every nook and cranny of our lives. We have areas of our lives that are sinful about which we might not even be aware. That is why we need to spend some extended time with God and ask him to search us deeply for any sin.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
(Psalm 139:23-24 ESV)
When a hotel practices immediate, daily and deep cleaning, guests can be confident that they are resting in a clean hotel. When a Christian practices the same, our walk with the Lord will grow sweeter and sweeter.
A note of caution: In light of the gospel, we need to understand that God does not wait on us to get clean before he accepts us. He takes dirty sinners and cleanses them based on the death of Jesus on the cross. When we are soiled, we are to fix our gaze upon our crucified Lord who has triumphed over sin on our behalf. We are only cleansed because of what he has done. Our life is to be one of having faith in Jesus and the price he has paid. We are to be living a life of repentance.