Front Row Seats

By Melody Lesmeister ~ Worship Arts Pastor

“Shotgun!!” My daughter yells and takes off running to secure the front seat in the van. Then begins the race to grab that door handle and proudly be the one who gets the place second only to the driver.

What’s so special about the front seat? Well, unobstructed views for one. First receiver of either cold or hot air is a great selling feature too! How about this one - DJ. I automatically hand my phone to the one in the front seat and they’re picking the tunes that will carry us to our destination without making us too crazy. If I say “ugh, skip that one” it doesn’t bode well for the front seat DJ.

The front seater also gets to hear clearly and engage in conversation with the driver! This can come with privileges. Sometimes simply just “being in the know”, can  make you feel confident.
For me, front seat means less chance of motion sickness. Unfortunately I might be the lamest person on the planet in that regard…. Don’t slam the breaks too hard or be a jerky driver, or you might find me in the fetal position asking for a bag. Too much information?

The front seater gets to observe the driver too. They hear the under breath comments about the slow driver in front of you or the one who just cut you off. They see the stop sign you just rolled through or the curb you just brushed up against. Often to the embarrassment of the driver, they see the things we’d rather let slide.

I remember apologizing to my daughters and the respective driver for calling them a moron. That word seemed to be my go to for “less than” drivers. Now my kids were starting to associate slow drivers with “morons”. Haha! Ok, I laugh, you cringe and question my parenting. I understand. I’m sure you’ll be relieved to know I have since changed. I now call those drivers who annoy me “ding dongs”. Better? Probably not, but I’m a work in progress.

I had a beautiful and emotional thought today. Are the people who have a front row seat to my life happy they do?

My Husband and I do a Bible devotional together every day. We write out our responses and what we are seeing in that particular devotion or Bible passage. I wrote something like, “you get a front row seat to my ups and downs”. His response broke open a deep emotional response. I cried and cried, and the Lord showed me why.

His response. “I wouldn’t trade this seat for anything.” Of all the things that mean something to my heart it is this. To be KNOWN. To be SEEN. Now this is a beautiful thing, but what about to be chosen? Wonderful right? How about chosen “in spite of” our shortcomings and weaknesses.

My daughters fight for that front row seat. I’d like to think it’s to be closer to me. I know that’s a massive part of it! They know the benefits of being in the front, but they also genuinely love to watch their crazy mom. Oh the stories we could tell. Hitting the curb because I was air drumming to Reckless Love (you try cranking that bridge and not having a dramatic physical and emotional response!!), driving in the ditch because the cutest new calves have arrived and you’re fixated on them… having ridiculous conversations. They love to witness me from the front.

There’s so much to behold in the lives of those close to us. I wonder if the Cloud of Witnesses laughs as they watch us. I wonder if God points and says “Hey, check out my kid over there!!”

In this life we get to be both the witness and the one witnessed. The reason my Husbands beautiful words broke me so much was, I suppose I didn’t feel worthy or exciting to be known. Why would anyone delight to have a front row seat for this hot mess? Isn’t that the beauty of Godly, pure relationships built on love? It’s an honor to be seen. Even in our mess. Highs and lows. I bask in the fact my Husband delights in the position he gets to have in this life!

However there is One who is always beholding and delighting in His view of us. Our Father. He yells “Shotgun!!” For the front seat to our lives and then runs. He’s running against shame, hurt, fear, insecurity and all the things we allow to influence our lives. He’s hoping to grab that handle ahead of all other things. The Father knows His view will be best if all those other things and voices don’t get that front seat. Once He has that seat He sets the atmosphere with songs of deliverance. The songs seem to bring down all our defenses and we burst out into wild ridiculous singing at the top of our lungs! Even when I mess up and call the driver in front a “Ding Dong”, He sees and gently softens my heart. He laughs at my air drum solo, marvels with me as we drive towards a sunset and cries with me as memories, painful and beautiful unlock tears pent up. He sees it all. He’s along for the whole journey…

… and He won’t trade His seat for anything.
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Pamela Steele - June 6th, 2022 at 1:02pm

Love this. Thanks Mel

Jeff - June 6th, 2022 at 9:31pm

Awesome ❤️🙏

Jody - June 8th, 2022 at 9:08am

Beautiful, Melody ♥️🌻