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Move Your Desk

Sometimes you find truth in unexpected places. I enjoy reading many kinds of literature and have been trying to write more of my own stories. I’m not a fan of horror stories or supernatural fiction and so have never read a Stephen King novel. King is famous for horror stories and fantasy genre. His non-fiction book On Writing is listed as an excellent book for people interested in the craft of writing. So I read it and thoroughly enjoyed it.

In the book, he shares his personal history and how he became a writer. He also reveals how he became an alcoholic. During the worst period of his addiction, he would lock himself away from everyone and sit working at his desk. Thankfully, his family staged an intervention and he got help. After sobering up, he made some changes including changes to his work space. At one point, he had placed a big, solid oak writing desk in the center of his writing room. After rehab, he got rid of it and put in some couches making the room into more of a living space. His children were free to come up and hang out with him, which they did.

He set up a smaller writing table to the side of the room where he could work. He wanted to make it clear that his work wasn’t at the center of his life. King writes, “It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way around.”

This is so true of so many things that we might be tempted to put at the centre of our life. Our work is not to be the centre or the core of our identity. When it becomes all about what we do, we forget who we are.

We’ll always face the tension between work, family, church and other parts of life. Remember the things that will last. Make sure that the centre of your life is something worth living for.

Jesus told his disciples to “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33 NLT) In this exhortation, Jesus is not suggesting that we focus only on spiritual matters. He is broadening the scope of what is spiritual. He’s talking about what our heart lives for.

This might be a good day to do some reflection and perhaps move your desk.

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