Front Row. Back Row. Finding My Place Before God.

Church Pew 1

Front row. Back row. We all have our spot don’t we?

Is it an unspoken rule?

We sit in church in a particular spot one Sunday and before we know it…it’s OUR spot.

Sometimes we do that with more than pew placement don’t we? I know I have.

Lord, place me up front please. I’m quite certain it’s where I should be.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a job promotion or leadership position there are times we’re certain we’re supposed to be up front.

Other times, for other reasons, our internal dialogue may look like this;

Lord, please don’t let them see me. I want need to hide. Back. Row. Please!

Our illogical logic becomes “I can’t do that, I don’t have time for that, or it’s someone else’s turn.”

Various seasons of my life have found me in pursuit of both positions. Noisy kids forced hubster and I to pursue back pews. The weight of “performing” well during a church service with our three under three musketeers was too heavy a burden for a front pew.

Other phases of life (usually remarkably short in duration) would find me thinking I had it all together and so to the front pew I’d march.

  • Teacher of Sunday School
  • Counselor of Youth
  • Leader of Women’s Bible study

I’ve moved from front to back and back to front more times than I can count. May I tell you the single most important lesson I’ve learned?

It’s not about placement.

It’s about a person and his name is Jesus Christ.

If I have any regrets over my pew stewing it’s this…there were times it was more about where I sat than with whom I sat.

I’m not beating myself up though. My regrets are no longer bitter. The only thing I can taste is the tender mercy of my Lord.

Pew hopping taught me how tender He is. He never needed me to do anything. He was just so darn excited to be with me. To do something…anything together.

Back row.

Front row.

Somewhere in the middle.

He just liked being with me.

Guess what I found out?

I liked being with Him.

The results of whatever we were in engaged became secondary to the relationship being forged.

Today? Well, I’m still bouncing front to back, back to front.

Sometimes my back pew looks like sorting stinky, athletic socks in dire need of bleaching. No one notices but it doesn’t really matter. There’s peace in the process as I meditate on His presence. He’s there with me sorting socks…sorting thoughts.

Other days not only am I in the front pew I’m in front of the pew. Teaching women by sharing stories of the Great One and His Great Love. His presence is palpable during those times because I’m keenly aware I couldn’t do it without Him.

Mere hours later I’m in the back row again standing in front of a sink of dirty dishes. My rubber-gloved hands are trying to salvage a pan in need of a scrub. Jesus is there too though. He helps me fight the enemy’s taunts that the talk wasn’t good enough or that somehow I’ve failed my family by my absence.

Jesus. Is. There.

Bottom line?

It’s not about where I sit but rather who I’m sitting with.

Paul said it best:

Place Your Life Before God

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around-life—-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” Romans12:1 MSG

Sweet DoAheads, nothing leaves me more undone than this.

We don’t need to do anything! Thank heaven that includes worrying about pew placement!

Front row. Back row. Somewhere in between. We simply embrace what He does for us and what He’ll do through us. That is something {Someone} we can rest in.

{I’m joining Suzanne Eller and other lovelies as they share their thoughts on “front row, back row”.  Hope you’ll meet up with us!}

Your DoAhead Friend,



  1. I leave with the same thought as I did reading Suzie’s post today. This is why I love you and I want to be the same person front, middle, back and I’ll now add, and I want to be loving every minute of the front, middle and back with Jesus!

  2. Mmmm GIRL, this is GOOD STUFF! Love your perspective! And this; “It’s not about where I sit but rather who I’m sitting with.” JUST YES! #livefreeThursday

  3. Amen, Cindy. Love Peterson’s translation of Romans 12:1 so much! Thanks for sharing this encouraging word with us today. It paired so nicely with Suzie’s. Sometimes, you need to hear it twice! 🙂

  4. Great post! It is so easy to get caught up in worrying about where we feel comfortable or what others think of us when really it’s all about Him. I love this: “It’s not about where I sit but rather who I’m sitting with.” Thanks for sharing!

    • So glad you’re here! My take on “where I sit” has been a life-long lesson. My prayer is that it will stick harder and longer than ever before! The older I get the more I realize there’s too much to do and not enough time… so why on earth should I waste it stewing about my pew?! Have a great day Carly!

  5. I like being with Him too. Sorting stinky socks (praise God for running water and detergent!) Teaching or doing dishes. Wherever He leads, that’s the best place to be! Sitting with Him, no matter who else is or is not there. 🙂

    • Oh Ruth! Yes! Thank you for the reminder that I have water and detergent! How can I forget to be grateful for those things?! So glad you stopped by Ruth!

  6. “He never needed me to DO anything”…..isn’t that amazing!! Why is it I so easily get tangled up in what I think I’M supposed to do and I miss just being with Him? Touched me again, Cindy! Thank you, Cindy

    • If there is one area of my life that seems to need constant re-learning it’s this one Cindy! I’m a “do-er”. That can be a good thing but sure can get in the way sometimes! So glad you stopped!

  7. He meets us anywhere. He’s omnipresent. What an amazing God we have. 🙂

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