We put seat fillers in the places and spaces that God has reserved for someone or something else. Impatiently, we try to fit cubical objects into cylindrical spaces; discontentedly, we clog the arteries of our dreams and desires with fatty waste that is, at minimum, unnecessary, and at most, life-threatening. We are impatient with our dreams and goals, and our seat fillers--the drug abuse, that man or woman that ain't good for us, that career of convenience we chose over a life of passion--set us back instead of pushing us forward.
God wants to push us forward, to have a faith that is content with the empty seats in our auditoriums--a faith that, in the midst of emptiness, is full and fervent.
Lately, I've been identifying the seat fillers in my life in a desperate attempt to save myself from myself. I've cried out to God, "forgive me for not waiting for and anticipating the people and the places you have been preparing for me, for not trusting that my gifts will make room for me, for placing my self-inflicted limitations over your infinitude." I've filled those empty seats with red wine and bourbon, obsessive compulsions, boyfriends I didn't need, red flags I didn't heed, and people that didn't serve me. I've played house with the devil and my soul has been evicted from my body. This shell that I'm renting is crumbling under the dilapidated infrastructure of self-doubt and pity, struggling to stand without its soul; and how amazing it is that this heart has survived for so long without its soul-mate; but the air hits her differently now as she pumps blue blood through these veins, giving faint life to the extremities that are searching for her fire.
I'm here today, with a shortness of breath, frail and faint, stumbling through the wilderness, feet away from the flame that got away. I've emptied my seats of the perpetrators and cleansed my temple of damaging lard. I reach for a flame that I knew well, once. I'm fighting for it now--not to become the person that I used to be, but to rise from the dead with the wounds still fresh and become the person that I am destined to be.
I release all fears and insecurities. I am no longer grabbing, holding, or squeezing anything and everything that I've falsely convinced myself will connect me to God. I've learned that God, and anything else worth having, doesn't need to be grabbed onto or squeezed tightly--that God is there whether you're holding on or not, and that you can be dead while grabbing on to a life that is toxic. I am steps away from my flame. I feel her fire upon my fingertips as my blood slowly turns from blue to purple, making its way to a deep red. I anticipate a breakthrough...finally.