The Empty Desk Is No Empty Metaphor

ABOVE: My desk always has papers on it and my computer screen's most exciting exhibit is an empty page...just waiting for me.

The unfolding of a career is like a book that is being written by an author who loves story-line twists.

The career metaphor for me has always been the empty desk. And so it was when I sat my 22 year-old tush down in a brownstone down the street from the Capitol building in Trenton, I stared at the grains of my old wooden desk that was freshly polished and had not one piece of paper on it. It felt as though my new boss had simply created a job for me. Within months, I was to find out that that same desk would be stacked with work and my IBM Selectric typewriter would keep my fingers tapping.

Years later, a desk at a senior center was also clean. Before I knew it, I had talked my boss into purchasing a computer from a new company called “Apple” and my desk got crowded with every conceivable story for our desktop publishing tabloid that was the precedent to what is now The Senior Spotlight (for which I still write a monthly column).

A few years after that, my friend Danny found that I might enjoy his huge desk for my basement because his bank was getting new furniture. It was so spacious, but…within a few years it was so filled with term papers, songs and stories that you couldn’t see the top.

One of those great surprises happened in my life when I came home one day to a brand-spanking new, full-scale work station supplied at no charge by my friend Dave. But again, within years, all of its many features, overhead bins and nooks would get filled.

Another surprise to me was my shift into the health field; specifically hearing testing and hearing aids. My desk was to be my passenger front seat for seven years. Fortunately, that same seat would eventually seat my daughter Guinevere who was being home-schooled and ended up keeping me company on many house calls. When I purchased the practice, I gave her the honored empty desk as our front-desk receptionist. Before long, her desk was full of patient files.

PHOTO: My first desk after purchasing the hearing aid practice.

Not long after that, our practice grew to 16 offices and my desk became the center of the universe for 25 employees who would bound in and out like bees to a beehive.

After selling that practice, I was able to sit at a new desk high above The Hudson River at “Sonrise,” my home just south of Albany, New York.

The unfolding of a career has made me wonder what work will await me in heaven. I have a feeling there will be a desk, but it won’t be empty.

The Lord will personally show me my desk. There will be one piece of paper - a personal note from Jesus: “I have some special work for you.”

PORTAL TO HEAVEN: We often see careers as somewhere between serendipitous to fully plotted. But even seemingly circuitous professional paths may have been conceived from a desk in heaven.

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, 'My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’…I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps…But David said to Saul, ‘Who am I, and what is my family or my clan in Israel, that I should become the king's son-in-law?’…The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.

Isaiah 46:10 NIV, Genesis 32:10 NIV, 1 Samuel 18:18 NIV, John 10:17,18 NIV