by Tim Howard
I was born into a family of 7 children. It was back when families practiced the great tradition of eating together at least one meal a day. For us it was ‘Dinner.”
Even though the meals varied, the routine of finding a chair remained the same: When the call came from our mother to gather around the table our dad would assign chairs. Donna, you sit in that chair. Beverly you’ll be over there, Mom will be here… and so on until everyone had his or her designated seat.
That might be the reason I still wait to be seated when I’m invited to someone’s house for dinner. I pause and allow them to tell me where to sit.
Jesus addressed this issue in the book of Luke, chapter 14: 7 – 9, “When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit near the head of the table, he gave them this advice: “If you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t always head for the best seat. What if someone more respected than you has also been invited? The host will say, ‘Let this person sit here instead.’ Then you will be embarrassed and will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table!”
You can imagine the awkwardness, chagrin and embarrassment a person might feel if they chose the wrong chair and experienced this.
In 1 John 2:13, the Apostle identifies 3 life stages and there’s a chair for each stage. A chair for Children, Adolescents and Adults
The High Chair is a symbol of childhood. We’ve all had to sit there! The chair is constructed to keep children confined to a restricted area because it helps to manage the mess. Children are a gift from the Lord but they can be very messy not to mention they whine, complain and pout like none other. One of the main characteristics of childhood is the need to be fed. They are dependent. Infants cannot make their own food or feed themselves and toddlers can’t feed themselves with any notable skill.
The chair for adolescents is a step toward growing-up. When a child transitions into this chair they are able to prepare their own food and they are able to feed themselves efficiently. It’s a stage in life where more freedom is given. Along with that freedom, however, is responsibility. That may be one reason why some people don’t want to grow up. They want the freedom and privileges but not the duties and responsibilities.
The last chair around the table is the Adult chair. The Adults can make their own food and eat without assistance but are also committed to mentoring others due to their maturity. The world needs more of these adults.
Here’s the problem. People are sitting in the wrong chair!
God wants us to change chairs as we move toward maturity. If you are a child it’s ok to sit in a high chair but if you’re a 20 something and still acting like a baby - something is wrong! It’s equally disturbing to see children trying to sit in the chair of an adult; taking control of their lives with no desire to listen to those who actually do sit in the adult chairs. To be healthy, you must identify the chair you are currently sitting in and then you can plot a path to the next chair.
What chair are you sitting in? What chair should you be sitting in? God is calling us to grow up!