Sunday, August 16, 2015

Down in Front!

Now that I've been attending church again (albeit, not all that frequently), I find I'm amazed at just how distracting people are. The pastor made a comment years ago that when this church started it was the perfect church . . . then the first people walked in (that was a joke - really!) One of the concessions that my wife and I agreed to was that she would attend with me (she was attending a local Catholic church while I was on my sabbatical), as long as I didn't "force" her to sit in the first row.

The first row. The dreaded, mostly empty, first row. A place I've been accustomed to planting my keister for many a year. I have never sat there with an air of "better than thou". I have sat there because I'm so easily distracted. Even back in school I'd sit in the front row. I'm the same with televisions. I actually hate dining in establishments with televisions on. Don't be surprised if I ever ask you to please turn yours off while visiting. I want to give you my undivided attention, and I'm just unable to do that with the damn thing on.

So, I'm accustomed to sitting in the front row. But now, we are in the fifth row from the front, sitting at the end of the row (I've been having a lot of on and off trouble with my knee/leg, and being able to stretch it out helps), and I find people are so annoying.

At this church, the service starts with about 20 minutes or so of (praise and worship) music, followed by a new visitor welcome, a meet and greet, the offering, and then the sermon. As I said, the service STARTS with about 20 minutes or so of music. The service doesn't start with the sermon. Do you hear me people who like to come in three-quarters of the way through the music?!? The music is part of the service. Those songs are not the trailers before the main feature. It's one thing to come in late to a movie and miss a couple of trailers. It is another thing entirely to come in after the main feature has started. I have rarely, if ever, seen anyone come in after the movie has begun. Why? Because nobody would come in late to a movie! So, why do people come in late for a church service?

I've written before about the purpose of the music at the beginning of a service. It is a time to prepare your heart and mind for God - to set aside your burdens and put yourself in a position to truly commune with Him. When people come in late, they disturb those at the end of the aisle - because they want those coveted middle seats - with "Hi!"s and "How are you!"s, taking people out of their spiritual "moment" and forcing them to give THEM attention.

(Being a couple of rows back, and being so easily distracted, I can't help but be pulled out of MY spiritual "moment" either!)

Listen! Why don't you get your ass up out of bed 15 minutes earlier so you get yourself all dolled up and get into your precious seat and not disturb other people who have come to church instead of the local golf course to commune with God. If you can't spare that extra 15 minutes of sleep, don't come in! Go and get your "slam" at the local Denny's instead.

We should get the ushers to close the doors once the service has started, and refuse to let anyone in!

Bruce Campbell, a.k.a. "the man!" in Spider-Man 2
Maybe it's just a part of the nondenominational/charismatic/Protestant mentality. I've never seen anyone ever come in late to a Catholic service. Oh, they've left early all right, just never came in late.

Or maybe if they served popcorn . . .

© Emittravel 2015


  1. Amen, it seems to be a cultural "thing".
    I have had occasion to be at the door after the service has started,
    It always seems to be the same people