Bedside Table Identity
Alicia Reese
June 7, 2022

You can tell a lot about a person by their bedside table…

Although I actually cannot say if this is true for everyone, I like to believe there is a lot of truth to this. It is certainly true of me. On my bedside table you will always find my glasses, an easily reachable phone charger, one or two lip balms, face and hand lotion, a cup of pens, and a stack of books. This 6-book stack is pretty typical of me, and whatever books are in the stack at a given time, are an indication of what is on my heart and mind in the current season of my life. They point to what my interests are, what I’m passionate about, what I’m curious about, and my need, not desire, need, to continue learning and growing. There is almost always a book related to anti-racism, travel, spirituality, theology, and the sacred stories of others.

The other, more well-known sayings similar to this about a bedside table are, “you can tell a lot about a person by the way they spend their time” or “you can tell a lot about a person by the way they spend their money.” But, I think my bedside table tells a more authentic story about me than how I spend my time or my money. Often, the things we spend time or money on are things that we have to do, which doesn’t change the fact that they may be important, but what I read, is fully my choice. And so, my stack of books is a constant reminder to me of what my priorities are, where my heart and my mind feel called.

How best can I live out my passion for anti-racism, my love of travel, my curiosity about and interest in theology and deepening my spirituality, and my desire to hear and connect with the stories of others?

So, I’m learning that my goal is to live a life that reflects the stack of books on my bedside table. And whenever it feels like I have lost touch with my priorities or I have begun to ignore where my heart is feeling called, all I have to do is return to the stack of books on my bedside table.

Does your bedside table say a lot about you?
  • Does the way you spend your time or money say a lot about you?
  • Do these things speak authentically about you?
  • What are the things you are passionate about, curious about, interested in?
  • What helps you to live life reflecting those things?
  • What do you do to recenter yourself when your priorities get messed up or you’ve been pulled away from what’s calling you?

Let us pray…
God of love and justice, sometimes we need reminders of what is important in life. We have things we are passionate about, things we want to prioritize, give us the tools to be able to do that, but never to make our priorities bigger than you and your call on our lives to be your disciples. Recenter us when needed. Spirit God, billow through us, giving us the strength to be vulnerable and courage to be authentic so that we may be drawn closer to one another and to you. Amen.