Monday, September 16, 2013

In My Own Little Corner, In My Own Little Chair

By Karen Buchanan

“In my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be!”

I imagine that each of us, at some time in our lives, have felt like Cinderella when she sang these words. We long for a place where we are fully in control and are empowered to think, feel, and act just as we choose. It seems almost magical to think that we could enter our own private space and become all that we ever wanted to be.

In my life there have been times when the challenge of meeting the needs of others has sent me searching for a place of peace. At times I have been simply overwhelmed with the vast responsibilities of life and searched for a spot to hunker down and survive. What drives you to your “own little corner”?

In professional leadership, we may seek our corner when the frustrations of office politics cause us to avoid working as a team. When raising children, we may run for our corner when others question our parenting choices. In each case, we limit ourselves from learning from one another and embracing the community to which we are called.

In thinking deeply about the temptation to run to my “own little corner,” one of the things I have discovered is that choosing to isolate myself is really about choosing to serve myself. It is easy in “my corner” to see myself, and my survival as the ultimate goal in life.  Sometimes I legitimately need to have some space to be refilled, but this becomes problematic when I separate myself rather than engage in the community God has given me. 

When I orient my life around  Jesus, I hear him saying, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10: 39). With this orientation, my concern becomes living the life that he has for me. It frees me to love the Lord my God with all my heart, my soul, my mind; and, love my neighbor as myself (Luke 10: 27).

It’s tempting to run to our “own little corner,” but it may not be the place we really want to be.

Karen Buchanan is a professor of education at George Fox University. She is a teacher, a wife and mother, a daughter and sister, and a woman on a mission to become more like her Maker. You can follow her leadership musings at

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