“And having food and raiment (clothing) let us be therewith content.”I Timothy 6:8
I recently attended a college trip with my daughter in which we attended two Christian colleges in two different states. I was asked to go as a chaperone for our group. I was not sure of what my duties would be, but figured I would attend some classes with the kids and make sure they did not burn the colleges down. I also knew I would be staying in a room with some of the boys, and I was not sure what to expect. We arrived at our first college, and I was curious as to where we would stay. We were treated with great hospitality and then shown to our rooms where we would be staying. I opened the door, and it looked like a hotel room with two rooms, one bathroom and a kitchenette. One room had four beds and the other had one queen size bed. I figured I would let the boys fight over the four beds in the one room, and I would take occupancy of the queen size bed.
We got settled in and the accommodations were nicer than I expected. I originally feared we might be staying in the dorm, so this was a pleasant surprise. We were taken to a pizza buffet and given a tour of the campus. I was liking this visit and I even took a run in the beautiful Iowa weather. We stayed a couple of nights and then it came time for us to head to our next college destination. I figured things would be okay, and I thought they might put us up in similarly nice accommodations. I caught word the teens would be put into the dorm room with the other students, but we were told we would get some separate accommodations. We dropped everyone off at their destination and the women sponsors were put in a nice hotel-like space, so I eagerly awaited where they would put us.
We were given a vague campus map and I saw the place where we would be staying on the outskirts of the map. We set out to find it and it was harder to locate than we thought. We saw some houses, but nothing that said “Armitage Hall.” We spotted some railroad tracks on the map and then we saw that the building was on the other side of the tracks. Little did we know this would be a sign as to the condition of our accommodations.
The building did not even seem like part of the campus, but we were road-weary and just wanted to catch some sleep. We swiped our card and entered Armitage Hall which would be our home for a few days, and it was like we were transported into the 80’s. The building was a hallway with dormroom-style rooms on each side with a kitchen and a community bathroom in the middle. The bathroom smelled like a sewer plant, and a small ironing board was placed on the kitchen table and a plugged-in Crock Pot was on the floor. I do not live in the Taj Mahal, but I was not used to these digs.
We gingerly walked down the hall to find our room, and it did not get much better. Our mattresses were about as thick as a book and lined in plastic. The heater made a weird sound like either it was raining or rats were walking on the roof. I decided to believe it was raining as I tried to get comfortable even though my plastic mattress was far from a Serta. It was cold outside so I was glad we had shelter, but I was not happy about where we were housed. The showers were right next to the urinals, and I forgot my shower shoes. I complained about Armitage Hall to anyone who would listen, and I can promise you, I was not thankful. I was not sure if the college didn’t want us to come back or if it was a test of humility. I forgot all about this verse, and I longed for my soft mattress and my shower which was far from my toilet. I was not thankful as I should have been, but I did appreciate my bed when I got home. God has given me so much more than food and clothes, yet I was unhappy with what He had given me.
How about you? Do you complain about all that God has given you? Do you long to live in a nicer neighborhood? Own a bigger house? Do you dream of that 77-inch television? Do you thank Him for the clothes on your back or do you long for nicer duds? Are you thankful every night you put your head down on that pillow, or do you fall asleep without giving Him thanks? May we not complain about where God has placed us, and may we be thankful even in Armitage Hall.