The Bates Motel

In earlier years of travel, our family was thankful that the light was left on for us at the only motel we could afford. There was no continental or complimentary breakfast, and as far as we knew such a thing didn’t exist elsewhere.

As our income increased, we graduated to a little higher classed motel and for the first time the continental breakfast was a real blessing. Of course now breakfast is provided everywhere, although I’m not interested in going back to the “good ‘ole days” to find out if everywhere includes where they leave the light on. In some of those years, turning that light on wouldn’t have always been a good idea in the middle of the night.

In one large city, in the years of upgrading, we arrived at our motel after dark to find almost no cars in the parking lot. It was a little eerie to be the only ones checking in. I joked with the check-in guy that it felt like a lonely Bates Motel experience. Well, he bantered on about the Bates Motel history, which made me wonder why he knew so much about it. During check-in no one else came in and we didn’t see anyone around anywhere. Ever courageous, we went up to our room and slept like babies; waking up every few hours and crying.

To our relief and delight we woke up the next morning and all was well. There were other folks at breakfast, although not too many. Norman, the check-in guy was off duty by then so we quickly forgot about the attic. Our following night stay was also uneventful. By then we were tough.

At our church, we have a young pastor who looks like the new breed of ministers who appeal to a young crowd. You’d think that in drawing in the young, which he does, there would be a reluctance to offend by preaching basic Biblical doctrine about sin, repentance, heaven and hell, such reticence being similar to the shift that is happening around the country. Not so here. Every Sunday we leave having heard the Gospel in its truth and simplicity. He uses relevant analogies with an honesty that appeals to all ages.

I think of the promises of God that leave us not wondering about our future here on earth and for eternity. In the Gospel of John, Ch. 14:2,3, after telling His disciples to trust in God and also in Him, Jesus says, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

In our wildest imaginations we are not capable of conceiving what God has prepared in heaven for His children (I Cor. 2:9). There is no place on earth or in human experience with which to make a comparison. We have all viewed pictures of luxurious hotels around the world that only the rich and famous can afford, costing thousands of dollars a night, and yet they all fall short.  The accommodations we find in heaven will not be the real attraction, I believe. Rather for the first time in our experience we will not be “looking through a glass darkly” (I Cor. 13:12). We will know. We will grasp the holiness, majesty, mystery, purposes, glory and anything else we can think of, of God.

Similarly, we cannot grasp the devastation of an eternal existence without God. Hell. The Bible describes both in as much graphic expression as humans are able to understand. We can understand a mansion. My concept goes from a five-star hotel of lavish accommodations to the opposite, The Bates Motel. We can imagine spending eternity in the best of everything, and the worst, if we saw the movie “Psycho.” Imagine abject fear, and horror that you never get used to? It’s always fresh every moment with gut-wrenching terror. A fire that never goes out.

I choose Hilton over Bates. I choose heaven over hell. I choose Christ.










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