Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lessons from the back row


A couple of Sundays ago, Cheryl and I walked into church early. As we entered the auditorium, I saw Cheryl’s friend Martha sitting on the back row.

The back row.

I love sitting on the back row.

I elbowed Cheryl and pointed toward Martha. Cheryl hesitated.

She hates sitting on the back row.

This has been a source of bitter (okay, not really bitter) disagreement in our marriage. Cheryl likes to be closer to the front, where there are fewer distractions. I, on the other hand, like to be closer to the rear for quicker exiting and easy access to the restrooms.

We usually compromise and sit somewhere in the middle. Except for this Sunday … thanks to Martha.

***

My love affair with the back row began in high school. At the College Church, the elders or deacons posted a sign on the 2nd and 3rd rows of the auditorium saying:

This section is
reserved for
our students in
grades 7-12

And so that’s where we sat throughout junior high. But there were some of us, maybe around 10th grade, who began to drift to the back. I wish I could remember the exact Sunday, when I ignored the pleading eyes of my fellow students at the front and just cruised on to the rear.

If the College Church auditorium were a baseball diamond, then we ended up sitting in left field … on the warning track.

***

Lessons I learned on the back row:

1) Sometimes you just need a little nap.

2) Life is more enjoyable with your arm around a girl.

3) Sharing (a songbook, or whatever) is a good thing.

4) Eat a hearty breakfast … it will keep your stomach quiet all morning long.

5) A good antiperspirant is priceless.

6) There’s always room to squeeze in an extra friend.

7) Leaders appear less flawed when viewed from a distance.

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