Today we are featuring a guest post from Taylor and Ashley regarding the daunting task of becoming adults and finding their own seats at church. No longer required to sit with their parents on the front row, they've made it their mission to search out various spots in the auditorium, sitting with other (!) people, and occasionally reporting on it.
LEFT SECTION: ROW 6
For 16 years, all we have known was the perfectly balanced sound of worship from the very front row of the auditorium. We have never known the security of having a row of seats in front of us to place our hands on during the songs we didn’t know. For 16 years, we have dealt with awkward eye contact with the worship team. For 16 years, we have stressed about the possibility of unfortunate wardrobe malfunctions. But no longer, as we will be venturing out to test the waters in the vast desert of endless seating options.
The very first week of our experiment we sat in the left section of the sanctuary, a few rows back from the front. Row 6 to be exact. Boy, what a difference! Let me say, that one of the greatest benefits of sitting in the front row, is that you don’t know people are staring at you. Well, we kind of do, but you can’t see people staring at you. Last Sunday was a completely different story. We sat behind a lovely family with several children, one of which was about 4 years old and being held by his mother. We were stared at and scrutinized by this child for the entire worship service. His wide eyes seemed to bear into our very souls, like he somehow knew that all I could think about was sneaking out to grab a coffee from outside. He somehow knew that (for the first time) I had felt self conscious about the front of my hair instead of the back. I tried to close my eyes, masking my indescribable discomfort with ardent worship, but the child saw through that too.
Aside from the piercing gaze of a child's all-knowing eyes, the acoustics were not quite up to par. Sounds were muffled as the speakers were aimed towards the center of the auditorium. The horrors of being able to hear your own voice singing was so different, and alarming in a way. We prefer to be drowned out by the thumping bass and emphatic muppet-style drums.
Throughout the service, we shyly glance around the room feeling the tension that something is different. Something isn’t quite right and people felt it. We felt it, and could almost hear the congregation's thoughts: “You know,people have their assigned seats!” “Who would possibly disrupt that?” and “Had they quarreled with ‘Pastor Ron’?” Let us put your inquisitive minds at ease. No we did not. We are merely individuals seeking to obtain and secure our very own seat in this vast auditorium, where everyone has already established themselves in their unmovable seating arrangements. We want to find a place where people look at a chair and say “No. We can’t sit there. That’s where Taylor and Ashley sit.”
Until next time…
-From the front row.
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