I think I am in need of an office. You might say that is a tall order or why would you need an office. Let me explain..
I have been working for the better part of 20 years. In all of my work history, I have been privileged to work for three different employers. The first employer I worked for in Jacksonville, FL was while I was in college. When I first started there, I did not have a desk or a cubicle, but then changed jobs and I had a place in the “cube farm” near a window, which was great. I kept that job for eight years, when the Lord graciously opened up an opportunity for me to serve in full-time vocational ministry in administration at a Baptist mission agency also in Jacksonville, FL. This was a step-up and with the job came a nice office that also had a window. Although I did not spend much time in the office because I stayed quite busy, it was nice to have a place that was mine. I had a desk and a credenza and was able to make it look nice. During my tenure, we relocated and I had another office in the back of a warehouse type building. This “office” was not the greatest. It was hot in the summer and it did not have a window. It was adequate, but again, it was a place that I used to work and think. I left there to go to seminary in the Twin Cities. When I moved, I gave up my “office” and realized that if I ever had one again that it would be a while. My books went into boxes and tubs and only kept the ones that I needed to use for seminary, etc. When I was single, my “office” was in my living room, bookshelves, desk, etc. It worked for a while. Then when I got married and we moved into a larger apartment, then I was able to secure the 2nd bedroom for a quasi-office (it was also a guest room). I had my desk and some of my books, the rest were in storage. I could go there early in the morning or late at night to study, think, read, meditate, etc. without disturbing anyone. We had our first child in 2006 and shortly thereafter had to move to a bigger place. This place was bigger in square footage, but I lost my office space again. My son needed a room and therefore due to space constraints, my desk, file cabinet and bookcase have resided in our bedroom in one corner for the last 5 years or so. My wife has been patient, but has expressed on different occasions that she wished there was somewhere I could move my desk, file cabinet, bookcase, etc. I agreed with her, but said that would not be possible unless I was able to find a job that came with an office. I have worked for the same company since I arrived in the Twin Cities nine years ago. I am a cube dweller, with no window. I am thankful to have a job – office or not.
The other day, I was thinking how nice it would be to get my desk, file cabinet, books out of our bedroom and have a place for them away from our apartment. As I write this post in the living room, I am sitting next to another bookcase that is filled with a majority of my books (overflowing).
Not only does an office provide space for such things as desks, file cabinets, and books. It provides someone a place to call their own, a place to think, ponder, meditate and brainstorm. A place where one can close the door and commune with God. A place where one can read and write.
I was able to do a fair amount of studying at my desk in my corner of our bedroom. Now that I am finished with seminary, I do not spend as much time at the desk as I did. Mostly because it is overrun with paper and I try to organize it only to find myself buried in it again. My work desk is neat mainly because there is very little paper involved in my current line of work (all electronic via email). Having two children does not lend itself to having a place to go for quiet reflection in our apartment.
There are others who are able to study in places like Panera Bread or Starbucks. I have always envied these folks and wondered how they could do it with people coming and going, the noise factor, etc. I like to have it somewhat quiet, but not pin-drop, library quiet.
Maybe someday I will be able to own a home where I can create an office space or I find employment or better yet return to full-time vocational ministry that would afford me office space. Then I would be able to relocate the desk, books, file cabinet, etc. For now, I will live with it in the corner and hopefully one of these days, be able to fully tackle the organization of my desk and hopefully not be buried alive by paper while in the process of trying to go paperless and waiting to see if the Lord will allow me this small request to get these office things out of our apartment sometime soon! I know my wife would be extremely happy when that day arrives and she would probably be very glad to help me load the desk, file cabinet, books and bookcases and gladly watch them depart.
Until then, we wait…..
(yes, we are still looking for a full-time pastoral ministry opportunity – Jan 2012 will mark two years in our present search)