When my children were little, we were invited to a friend’s house for dinner with several other people. At the time we were young, broke and very excited to eat free food. When we arrived at the house there were some tables on the patio that were clearly set for children. Inside, we were more than excited to find a beautifully decorated table with individual place settings. It looked amazing!
Just about the time we were supposed to find our seats we were approached by our gracious host and informed that we would be sitting outside at the children’s table. Needless to say we were not happy. In fact, it ruined our whole dinner.
It wasn’t so much that we were asked to sit outside that ruined it. To be honest it was my attitude that ruined it. I was so furious because I wanted to sit at the big boy table with the other adults that I lost sight of the privilege I had to sit at a table with my wife and children.
Did you know Jesus actually teaches us to take the worst seat?
He says, “When you are invited to a wedding feast (AKA – Free Dinner), don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited? The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table! “Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table.” (Matthew 14:7-9)
Sometimes we become so focused on self-promotion and our own comfort that we miss out on a great opportunity. We can spend way too much time trying to figure out what’s best for us instead of what’s best for others. I know I was, and not just on this one occasion.
When we act like this we miss out on a great opportunity not only to follow Jesus’ teaching but also to enjoy the moment.
Because of my bad attitude and desire to have a better seat I missed out. I missed the joy of being invited in the first place. And I missed having dinner with my wife and children and some life-long friends.
But my biggest mistake is that I missed out on honoring and serving the other guests sitting at the big boy table. How selfish of me to think I deserved to be there more than they did.
So don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t miss out on the wonderful benefits of taking the worst seat.