Once, a father happened upon a large sum of money and wished to give a gift to his son. He provided an indefinitely long stay in a five-star hotel. The man thanked his father and went to claim his prize.
Upon his arrival, the receptionist told the man, “I’m sorry, but your room isn’t ready yet. We’re putting the finishing touches on it. Please wait in the lobby and I’ll have someone escort you up when it’s time.” The man agreed and went to sit down in the lobby. This was a fine lobby; it had floors of granite and from the ceiling hung extravagant chandeliers. On a nearby table there was cold water flavored with lemon, and throughout the room there were comfortable couches for guests to relax in. The man took a seat and imagined what fancies would soon treat him up in the hotel penthouse. Would it be a corner room with a panoramic view of the city? Would it have a feather bed and a hot bath? As he sat silently brimming with excitement for the things to come, another guest sat next to the man and began to chat. They presently struck up a conversation.
Before long, the man was asked why he was there. With a smile, the man responded, “Oh, I’m waiting for my hotel room. I can’t wait to go up there.” The smile which had previously lit up the stranger’s face faded away. With a trembling voice, the stranger asked him, “Why don’t you want to stay here? Don’t you like it here?” The man chuckled at this and said, “Well, sure, but I’m eager to go on to my room. I know it’s going to be even better than this.” The stranger rebutted, “But don’t you realize there’s so much left in this lobby? Besides, things won’t be the same around here without you. Please don’t go!” The man’s eyebrows furrowed as he searched for the proper response to this. He finally thought up an answer and smiled again. “You can go to the same place. All you have to do is accept my invitation. You’re welcome in my suite as well, friend.” The stranger immediately shook his head and said, “I’m not sure there even is such a place–I’ve never seen it. Have you seen it? How do you know it’s there? Besides, down here is my home. I work in this lobby. I change the world, you know. I have the ear of three different senators. I’m making rules and making a difference. I’m getting all I can out of this lobby.”
The man was quite confounded at this point, but had little time to speak because it was his appointed time. As the bellman came to collect the man, he said to the stranger, “I have to go now. I hope you won’t think I’m crazy for wanting to leave, and I hope you’ll be able to join me someday.” The bellman bid him come, and the man left without looking back.
Moral: Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth.