Classic Re-post from 2006
Dan studies in ‘Narnia.’ Scroll down for more photos
Let me tell you a little something more about myself than you probably want to know. I have a wonderful study lined with books as nice as almost anyone’s I have ever seen. It is not big enough for all the books with which I have been blessed over the years (including huge parts of two men’s libraries who blessed me – Larry Whiteford and Ron Ayres).
When I first came to the Character Inn I found an ugly yellow storage closet with harsh fluorescent lights and a tile floor and dumped my extra books into it. Sometimes for quiet I would go into the room, push some boxes aside and sit down to read or think or meditate. One day I wondered where the closet was in the floor-plan of the building. I discovered that it was beside my office. A plan began to form in my mind and soon Kyle had painted the room, Ken Krause had installed a nice door between the room and my study. One of the men wired in a nice light fixture, they laid carpet that matched the rest of my study, Kyle and Chuk assembled six shelving units to line the little chamber. I requisitioned a nice reading chair added a small desk , lamp, and file and dubbed the little place Narnia, because you have to go “through the wardrobe” to get there and it is filled with stories.
Almost every day the boys read there. I often go there all alone to study and read. When I need to have an uninterrupted conversation with one of the children we can do it there. You can exit my study from the main door or you can go through Narnia and out. I usually keep some running gear in Narnia so I can change and then shoot out for some fresh air. In the morning I get my study lights on and then duck out through Narnia to the kitchen behind my study.
As a part of my routine many mornings I find myself hovering over a rumbling, gurgling appliance that sends just the right amount of water at just the right temperature over my coffee grounds. The brewing of the coffee takes exactly three minutes with the commercial Bunn Coffee Maker that is plumbed into the restaurant kitchen behind my study but on a good day I can stretch the ritual to between eight and ten minutes.
During that time I am out of range of phone and receptionist. I am not distracted by my books or files or other projects. For just a few moments that coffee tradition is all my world. Before I wind my way back through the familiar labyrinth from my secret chamber attached to my study to the kitchen I usually look around to find something to read while I wait for my coffee.
Sometimes it is simply the scriptures in whatever version I am inclined to read. It will often be the ESV, sometimes, the New Living Translation, or the Living Bible (which I prefer), occasionally the Amplified or the Message (with which I have a love-hate relationship). Often I will fire a copy of an article from the â€˜net that I have been looking forward to. Anything by Charles Spurgeon is worthwhile reading from Lectures to My Students, to John Plowman Talks, to Morning and Evening, to any one of his sermons.
I am of the opinion that my little pot-watching routine is an important part of my day. Everyone needs a little “soul-tuning-up” time. That’s one of the ways I do it. I have more but I will save them for another time because I’m sure there is a limit to how much personal information you are willing to read. My advice: Find a quiet place every day. Read something good for your soul. Start with the Scriptures, and brew yourself a good pot of coffee every morning. It’s just good form.
McLean House Bed and Breakfast
April 3, 2006