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It’s My Office and I’m Proud of It

I moved several hundred books on prayer out of my office last week.  It reminded me that someone once said, “Show me a man’s office and I’ll tell you about the man.”  In my twenty-two years on the faculty of Southwestern Baptist Seminary I had six offices in two buildings.  In retirement I have a seventh office in a third building.  I shared three of those offices in a suite with esteemed colleagues.  I have deeply appreciated each office. Around the top of the walls of my present office are fifty-nine small frames containing currency and patches from the countries where I have visited and ministered. I’ve given up displaying the one hundred plus university mugs from campuses where I spoke or served. Only a few remain displayed. Interspersed among the books on the shelves are family pictures and international reminders.  Same could be said about the few pictures on the walls.  The prayer bench has remained through three offices surrounded by prayer-prompts – reminders from every country that I’ve visited to pray for that country! A book of missionary pictures sits on the prayer top, along with an open Bible. The window overlooking part of the campus contains a cactus plant that my wife assures me I can’t kill. I have two chairs because I refuse to sit on the other side of a desk while communicating with a student. Lots and lots of books, even though I’ve given away hundreds to three other institutions. A Peanuts cartoon said, “Good books make good friends.” I’m blessed with lots of friends. The desk is a bit cluttered.  Supposedly it was Einstein who said, “A cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind.”  Someone else responded, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”  I will allow someone else to decide what my office says about me.  I just know I’m proud to call it mine, while it is still mine.  Someday, what the psalmist said of another will be said of me, “Let his days be few, and let another take his office’ (Psalm 109:8).

Dr. Dan R. Crawford, Senior Professor, Chair of Prayer Emeritus; Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. Former Head of Task Force for the Teaching of Prayer in Theological Education for America’s National Prayer Committee.  Administrative Consultant for the Valley Baptist Missions Education Center. President of Disciple All Nations, Inc.


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