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I’m Just A Passin’ Thru

A Sufi of forbidding appearance arrived at the doors of the palace. No one dared to stop him as he made his way right up to the throne on which the saintly Ibrahim ben Adam sat.

“What is it you want?” asked the King.

“A place to sleep in this inn.”

“This is no inn. This is my palace.”

“May I ask who owned this place before you?”

“My father. He is dead.”

“And who owned it before him?”

“My grandfather. He is dead too.”

“And this place where people lodge for a brief while and move on—did I hear you say it was not an inn?”  

As with all stories told by Anthony de Mello, this one makes you think hard about your life and how you are living it.

For me, it made me think about what I truly value. What am I putting my time, energy and focus into. Do I realize that everything I own is just for temporary safekeeping.

What did this story do to you?

May you be inspired – every day!


  1. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 11, 2012

    Absolutely right, Rimly. But easier said than done, don’t you think?

  2. rimly rimly March 20, 2012

    This life is so transient and yet people are so attached to material things. You come here alone and you go back alone taking nothing with you. 

  3. Otienohongo Otienohongo March 15, 2012

    It made me think of Shakespeare’s all the world is a stage line. we are just but actors and we will all have to exit the stage at one time. We thus need to play our part while we can…

  4. Andy Andy March 15, 2012

    Hello Corinne.
    This story made me think that this life is really just a temporary resting place until we are returned to the dust from whence we came, with the hope that we will one day  be resurrected to live on the paradise earth where we will never age, get sick or wither and die.
    The ending is very powerful.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Jessica Mokrzycki Jessica Mokrzycki March 15, 2012

    It made me think about hospitality and impermanence and priorities. Thanks for making me think. 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 11, 2012

      I didn’t think of hospitality, Jessica – although that’s so obvious!

  6. Galen Pearl Galen Pearl March 15, 2012

    Like others, this made me think about who was in my home before me,  and who will come after.  Great story.

  7. Nelieta Mishchenko Nelieta Mishchenko March 15, 2012

    I guess in the end we have nothing to call our own.

  8. DangerousLinda DangerousLinda March 14, 2012

    it fuels my fire.  i’m amazed at how transitional all of life is, and how few people seem to realize the truth of this… change is in the air…XOXO

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 11, 2012

      Life is truly transitional and the faster we get the message, the happier we’ll be, Linda! ♥

  9. nikky44 nikky44 March 14, 2012

    It made me think of what the Beatles song : “Money can’t buy me Love “. 
    We are living in a materialistic world where the true meaning of life is missing, where Love is missing. I don’t care for any of my belongings, I only care for people’s feelings towards me, because their love is the only thing i will take with me to after Life.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 11, 2012

      I remember that song too, Nikky and it’s so true. Love is the only wealth we have to keep and share.

  10. Bikram Bikram March 14, 2012

    Nice one and I loved the reply given .. indeed the world is like a inn, people come and go after a short stay ..

    The thing is what they do in that short stay .. that makes them live in our memories all the time or do we jsut forget them in  a second ..

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 11, 2012

      Yes, Bikram. If only we can remember that we’re here for a short stay, so we need to make it pleasant for ourselves and everyone we encounter.

  11. Debra Elramey Debra Elramey March 14, 2012

    I have Anthony de Mello’s The Song of the Bird.  Love these stories, and truly love your words
    Corinne. Because they echo my own heart.  
    What really matters in life anyway? 
    We’re all just passing through. 

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 11, 2012

      I have that one too, Debra and most of his other books too. I’m glad these words resonate with you.

  12. Susan Deborah Susan Deborah March 14, 2012

    Ah, I just love De Mello. I can read and reread his books many many times. This story seemed so very familiar and finally when I saw De Mello’s name, I knew where I had read it.

    Thanks for this thoughtful piece, Corinne.

    Joy always,

  13. Jan Jan March 14, 2012

    Yes certainly thought provoking. At the moment I am surrounded by people that have been moving on in one way or another, death, graduation ect. I think I realize how temporary this life is, just a splash in the timeline of earth. The trick is to make it memorable for yourself and those around you I think. I know that my mother will leave a wonderful legacy of truth, honor and grace.  For me laughter will be part of what I leave. this is a powerful few lines you have shared, thank you. 

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 11, 2012

      Thanks, Jan. Your Mom is certainly someone we all can emulate. The only legacy we can leave is one of love – everything else passes.

  14. Bongo Bongo March 14, 2012

    We may have a lot or we may have a little…why not share what we do have…share while we can ..while we are here and alive….how beautiful this world could be if we just shared something of ourselves…As always….XOXOXOXOX

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 11, 2012

      You said it so well, Bonnie and I can see you living that out in your life!

  15. melissatandoc melissatandoc March 14, 2012

    Thanks for sharing Anthony de Melo 🙂 For a time, we were banned from reading his works…but I like his style of writing.

    While reading this, I was reminded of my attitude now towards life. Before I always felt secure and protected but now, whenever I go out of the house, I’m not sure if I’d ever be coming back home in one piece. Life is indeed very short and most of the times, we wouldn’t care less until a tragedy occurs ~ sickness  or accidents.

    I love the reflection this post brought me and I thank God whenever I wake up for one more day of loving 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 11, 2012

      I know about the ban, Melissa. I’m not sure if it’s still one – I do love his writing anyway.
      Yes, more and more the brevity and the unexpectedness of life comes to us. As you very rightly said, all we can do is be grateful and love more!

  16. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando March 14, 2012

    This made me think that we truly don’t “own” anything, but are only stewards of the material things we have been given and of God’s creation.  We should always be mindful of the blessings we have and work to leave this world a better place.
    Great story, Corinne!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 11, 2012

      Exactly, Martha. Too often we get caught up with what we ‘own’ forgetting that we are merely stewards.

  17. Sulekha Sulekha March 13, 2012

    We know it’s temporary but we fool ourselves into believing it is permanent. 

  18. Jpbrandanophoto Jpbrandanophoto March 13, 2012

    Life is like a bottle of beer you never really own it, it’s just passing through !!!

  19. Mary Hudak-Collins Mary Hudak-Collins March 13, 2012

    I agree with Janaki…life is so temporary…we have to enjoy each moment as it is our last 🙂

  20. femmefrugality femmefrugality March 13, 2012

    What a great story.  It reminds me how temporary this physical world is and how permanent and important our souls are.  The things that happen here and now are only for a moment.

  21. Luchi Smiles Luchi Smiles March 13, 2012

    Reminds me of Jim Reeves song,
    “This world is not my home
    I’m just a passing through

    My treasures are laid up
    Somewhere beyond the blue….”

    My Papa says, “this life is like a market place, you have to leave when you finish your buying and selling. So, you got to choose what you want to buy and what you want to sell.”

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 11, 2012

      Exactly the song I was thinking of, Luchi. I love your Dad’s wisdom. It’s all about choices!

  22. Janaki Nagaraj Janaki Nagaraj March 13, 2012

    Everything in life is so temporary….nice story.

    • Janaki Nagaraj Janaki Nagaraj March 14, 2012

      On a lighter note, I can also conclude that the wealth is inherited! But, then again one has to have the capacity to safe guard that too…. 😉

  23. Blond Duck Blond Duck March 13, 2012

    It made me appreciate my home!

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