Can you even believe the madness of the holiday season is behind us? What a whirlwind combination of faith, fun, decorations, gifts, thanks, and entertainment it was. And now, a new year greets us, full of possibilities. After a year of NOT exercising and eating better, I’m not even going to get started on resolution-making talk. Nope, not gonna do it. But what I will do is dispense some New Year’s observations with a touch of advice from years’ past. It all started in traffic court…
I walked into the courtroom just down the street from my old high school off Parham Road, eager to “get it over with” and hopeful for driving school and salvation for my driving record (and insurance bill). Still reeling from the knowledge that my phone was off, sealed in an envelope, and banned from use until I left the building (seriously, they should have a magazine rack in there!), I scoped out the courtroom, noticing that the back rows were pretty well filled, but the front row was completely empty. Knowing that I was a “T” and therefore would be sitting through most of the rest of the morning docket before I got my turn, I settled in right up front, wishing for popcorn, and ready to eavesdrop on all of the excuses that were about to befall this unfortunate judge’s ears. Poor guy, how he keeps from rolling his eyes all day long and demanding that we defendants go back home and pick out more appropriate court clothes (c’mon, show a little respect!), I’ll never know. It took a while to get to the Ts, but it sure was more interesting from my front row seat.
Okay, it didn’t really all start in traffic court. It really all started in church…
When the boys were younger, we went to church occasionally at best, and when we did, we sat in the very back, sometimes even on the floor behind the pews if the seats were all taken. The back half seats, that is. The thought never occurred to us to sit in the first two rows, which were always empty. Invariably, we’d all get bored and restless quickly, never really connecting with the service. Then one day, we did it – we sat in the very front row.
I can’t even remember why now, but guess what? All of us got much more out of mass than we ever had before. Over time, the boys started learning about the parts of the mass, the reason the priests wear the clothes they wear, the names of the cups and plates used during mass, and eventually, my oldest asked to become an altar server. Would that have ever happened if we had stayed in the back? Definitely not.
We’re a funny society, paying top dollar for front row seats to sporting events, concerts, and live shows, but then staying in the back, even after paying the same good money to hear industry speakers, go to seminars, or (did someone say resolution?) learn some fitness moves from an instructor at the gym.
I know from experience that you learn those moves much faster from the front row than from the back, so this year, resolutions or not, my advice is this: Take a front row seat for all that 2016 has in store.