This desk was built back in the 1950’s-60’s, when things were made to last. And ‘last’ it did! I really don’t remember exactly when I acquired the desk, probably back when I was in college (nigh on 30 years ago). I fell in love with that desk! It was big. It was strong and sturdy. It had storage. And for me, it was iconic, in the sense that it became the symbol of strength, endurance, and stability. We used to jokingly say that if an atom bomb hit the house, the only thing that would be left standing in tact would be the desk! The desk served me well for many a year.
But things have changed.
Over the last several years the desk has not been utilized, except as a ‘catch all’ for documents that needed to be filed, but didn’t get filed right away. It sat in the corner of my ‘man cave’ (the basement) for a long time, pining away. The time has come where I need to dis-assemble the man cave and turn it into a kids rec room. It was time to say good by to my desk. 😦
So I packed up all the stuff in and on the desk– old bills, statements, pens, pencils, emptied the file cabinet and drawers (I even kept my tools in one of the drawers!). It was a few days later that I finally dis-assembled the desk. When it was done, I stood there for a while and just looked at the parts. Strangely, I felt… sad, broken. It was as if something had died… and it wasn’t just the desk. I had come to the end of an era. The days of the desk were done.
This all comes at a time when I am experiencing a lot of change, a lot of upheaval in my life. The things that I thought were strong and stable and enduring have proved not to be. I’ve never been really good with ‘change.’ I’ve gone through the gamete of emotions, several times over, until I found myself just emotionally exhausted. I think I just wore myself out because, internally, I’ve been resisting the changes. But like my old desk, it’s time to let things go.
It’s funny; as I write this, two Bible passages come to mind. The first is from the book of Jeremiah, where the prophet is addressing the captives of Israel in a foreign land.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord…” (Jer. 29:11-14a)
The second passage is from 1 Corinthians 5:17, which reads,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
As I have learned (probably from back in elementary school), “growing things change; dead things don’t.” And God, my God, is The Living God. He is “The Change-less One Who causes change.” I don’t want to read too much into this, but perhaps the lesson to glean from all this is that God is in the midst of my changing circumstances determined to work it all out for my good (cf. Rom. 8:28). I shouldn’t hold on too tightly to the ‘icons’ of the past, but I shouldn’t stress over the future either. The important thing is my relationship with God in Christ Jesus. If I’m anchored in the “Change-less One,” the howling winds of change can’t (ultimately) hurt me.
The desk is gone now. I put it out back late last night. It was gone before I got out of bed this morning. I must confess, it stings a little. Change is hard. I’d better go check to make sure that anchor is secure to the only One Who is actually strong, and sturdy, and stable.