How did this happen?
How did life end up like this?
I mean, I was never a “pew gypsy,” one of those church attendees who can float about the sanctuary sitting in a different section every week. I never bounced from balcony to front row and back again with never a care in the world, but it was never this bad.
I never had to sit in the same exact seat, week after week after week. I never secretly harbored “aisle envy,” if some visitors dared sit in our seats one week. I never asked people to “scoot to the middle” in a specific row even though the rest of the sanctuary had plenty of seats. That’s the church equivalent of sitting right in front of someone in an empty movie theater.
I was an “at peace with whatever seat I got” kind of dad. I’d never drag my kids through the halls as fast as I could toward Sunday School, making sure their little feet didn’t slow me down on my way to my rightful spot at church. Sure, it takes approximately 48% longer to get them ready on Sunday mornings, but I assume that’s the devil and plan ahead. If I have to sit a few rows away from my normal spot, no big deal.
But last Sunday, something crazy happened in church – my wife kept walking when we got into the sanctuary. She blew right by our regular sitting area. I immediately said, “Where are you going?” Her response? “I hate where we normally sit.” What? Where was this coming from? You think you know someone. What had come over my bride? We’d been attending Cross Point for a year and she never mentioned it. We’ll probably need to “unpack” that with a counselor.
She kept going, further down the main aisle, getting closer and closer to the stage. Then she did the unthinkable and took a sharp right turn! Let me be clear about something, we’re not right side people, we’re middle row people. We look directly at the stage, from the middle, dead on, the way God intended it. I’m pretty sure that’s in the Old Testament somewhere.
But instead, we sat on the third row, far right. I turned back and looked wistfully at where I spent the last year sitting. Farewell old friend. I’m now apparently the kind of person that looks at the side of the pastor. From an angle. Off in the shadows. As if you can really even call that seat “church.”
And then it hit me. I’m the person who has to sit in the same place at church each Sunday.
How about you? Are you a pew gypsy or do you find a seat and then hold it down each week til death do you part?