My wife, Gail, and I were early arrivers at church this past week, and when we entered the sanctuary, only a few seats were already occupied. That meant that we had—I'm guessing here—about 350 seats to choose from.
Would we sit near the front? Probably not. I've spent more than a few years in the front rows of worship sanctuaries, and a tiny rebellious spirit within me now seemed to say, "if you're not preaching today, go for one of those sought-after back seats. Hey, why not go all the way and do the balcony?"
But another, more conscientious, part of the inner me was instantly mindful of late-comers, families with cry-prone infants, and older people who need to locate as near to the bathrooms as possible. Back row seats were created for them. We're not late; we have no children; and we don't have to run to the bathroom … yet.
Perhaps you can see how, for those of us who've done church all our lives, even seat-selection can be a mini-crisis in which super-conscientiousness ...1