When I was in ministry at another church I sat down on a certain pew in the main auditorium before a service started. A few minutes later an older lady came down the aisle and stood at the end of the pew I was sitting on. I looked up and smiled.
As she smiled back she explained that this pew was where she always sat and would I mind moving.
Although she said it nicely enough I was taken aback that she would ask me to move. This seat did not have any special access for people with disabilities and there were plenty of other available seats around me. The only reason she wanted to sit there was out of habit.
It wasn’t a big deal for me as to where I sat so I didn’t mind moving. But as I made way for this lady she told me a story that shocked me to the core.
When she was young her whole family went to visit another church. They didn’t realise but they sat in someone else’s seat and so they were asked to move. Her brother was so offended by this that he never went to church again.
What shocked me about this story was not her brother’s reaction but that years later, even after seeing the effect this behaviour can have on people, she still had the gall to ask me to move! Did she not learn anything from her brother’s response?
Bad things can happen in our lives, and often we can’t do anything to stop them. But what we can do is learn from them. And in our learning we can adapt and change to become better people.
That’s why the Bible is full of people’s stories. God wants us to learn from other people’s experiences so we can adapt our behaviour to be more like Him.
Lord, teach me. Whether it’s through my own experience or hearing from others, help me to adapt my life so I’m able to live out my calling in worship of You. Amen.
What have you learned this week?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.