No one likes the middle seat.
- In the car there is rarely a place for your feet or your stuff.
- In the plane you can’t see out the window or exit the aisle.
- In a meeting you can’t leave without disrupting everyone.
- At a ball game you’re farthest from the concession guy.
And yet the middle is where all of the opportunity sits.
You can’t hide. You can’t be silent. You have to interact.
God uses the middle seat to challenge me.
To be nice to strangers. To be aware of my surroundings. To witness how my actions and words affect others.
It makes me more grateful.
For those moments when I do get the window seat and can rest my head on the plane. More grateful for those moments when I get the aisle seat and can stand up and stretch easily on a long flight. It makes me more sympathetic to others who feel stuck and awkward. To those who can’t speak English or speak at all to ask for help.
The middle seat is a reminder that we are not alone in this world.
That we are wedged between people and moments and experiences. In our families, at work, at church, in the community, online… we are in the middle of relationships of varying degrees of depth, but not varying degrees of significance. When in the middle it is all significant… including you and including me. But not because of what we can get from others or of what we need from others (like to get out of the aisle) but because of what we can give to others. You and I can significantly impact the people around us for the better.
The middle seat is a reminder that we are not stuck in this moment.
Sure you might feel stuck, but remember there was something before and there will be something after. Just as there is someone to your left and to your right. Life is not static and neither are you. Remember that where you are, is not where you will always be.
The middle seat is a test.
Will I let my circumstances define me? or refine me? When you are there… in that moment… in the middle… in between… you have more control than you realize. You can bring joy with you and share it with others through a smile, a stick of gum, a kind word. Or you can strip joy away with a complaint, a harsh look or a curt response. Embrace this moment in your life as a time to make the middle seat, the best middle seat you’ve ever had.
So thank you God for the middle seat.
For all of its opportunities, its reminders and its challenges. I pray that I use those opportunities in a way that makes you proud, and helps others want to get to know you since you’re the reason the middle seat is a good seat at all.