Friday, November 7, 2014


Mike and I have traveled several places this year including Denver, Portland, Oregon, and Erie, Pennsylvania. We’ve either stayed in a Hampton Inn or Comfort Suites. We find these two motels offer nice accommodations as well as the bonus of a free breakfast.

What caught my eye at both motels, other than the huge comfortable pillows on each bed, were the tablets resting on the tables straddled between the telephone and Gideon Bible. The words on the bottom of the tablet from the Hampton Inn were “thought pad”. Comfort Suites had these words in a large circle at the top left hand corner “more space for your thoughts”.

The words on both of these tablets suggest that time spent in the room away from the normal routine, might offer an opportunity to think about topics or decisions or whatever might come to mind. Whenever I see these words I wander to a reflective place.
Perhaps the owners of these businesses want to encourage customers to take a few moments while they are gone to think about concerns, challenges or even joys that we carry wherever we go and often ignore, but might surface when we go away from the normal routine and have space to devote to reflection.

Jesus reminded his followers to “go away” and “take time to pray” (Matthew 14:22-24). Jesus found a hill, a garden, and the wilderness to contemplate, spend time with God, and perhaps sort through the path his life was taking or prepare for future encounters and experiences. I wonder if Jesus had a tablet with “thought pad” or “more space for your thoughts” tucked under his robe to record what he received and wanted to remember.

My guess is that Jesus knew clearly the focus of his life. His heart guided him to love and serve others, teaching and healing in God’s name. His clarity in purpose was like no one else experiences and there was no need to record the strength, courage and insight God was giving him.

Packing the two tablets in my suitcase from each stay, reminded me to allow space for new thoughts, insights and perspectives about life and people which always happens when I visit new places. Getting out of my everyday routine, traveling someplace different can at times overload me with thoughts to write about when I return home. The tablets from the Hampton Inn and Comfort Suites sit on my kitchen counter as helpful souvenirs to encourage reflection about my time away and life with God.


  1. I've definitely found it true that when I'm away from home and its pressing tasks and familiarity I open up space for my mind to generate ideas and notes and solutions. How lovely for the hotel to recognize that and honor the power of a notepad or tablet!