“In front of you is a piece of tape on the table. Write your name on the tape. This is your seat in the main auditorium for the remainder of the conference.” As I wrote my name, excitement bubbled deep inside. This was my time to shine. I had been pouring myself into my writing all year and knew there was some publisher who would immediately fall in love with what I had written. Excitedly, I sat in my seat.
The next morning, I entered the one wild card, anxiety-filled piece of the conference. Following God’s prompting, I signed up for an eight-hour continuing class focused on public speaking. As I expected, we had to stand up and introduce ourselves telling our names, where we were from and our ministry passion. My heart was beating so hard I thought it would bust out of my chest and give me a black eye. This was a defining moment. I could respond with a safe ministry or I could share the true desire of my heart. Anxiously, I sat in my seat.
Knowing that I didn’t come to the conference to be a chicken, I sucked up my pride and honestly shared with the group. As I caught my breath, an air of vulnerability spread across the room. The other men and women freely shared their desire to impact a generation and leave their mark on this world. Guards dropped and hearts danced freely through the words shared in the room. Expectantly, I sat in my seat.
That same day we were tasked with the assignment of writing and presenting a three-minute speech. Fear stepped in and told me to play it safe; but I stopped giving Fear my ear when I decided to be brave. The next morning, I shared the message of hope that God placed on my heart. I offered my vulnerability and broken places to a group of people I barely knew. Their feedback blew me away. God affirmed me in that moment through tears, encouraging words, and constructive critique. Boldly, I sat in my seat.
The following three days, women from the speaking class asked if we could talk. My honesty gave them the courage to bare their own souls, sharing stories they had never uttered out loud. One by one, I encouraged them. One by one, they stood a little taller. One by one, they embraced their moment. One by one, they stopped giving Fear their ear and stepped through the doors of freedom. Gratefully, I sat in my seat.
All throughout the week I met with authors, agents, publishers, and editors. Many were interested and asked to see more and there’s a great chance that I will get published one day as a result of these connections. But as the week went on, I cared less and less about the story I was writing and more and more about the story God was writing. I wasn’t just there for me and my needs, I was there for others. Other people. Other stories. Other dreams. Testimonies and projects that were sitting on a shelf because of the lies that Fear whispered in too many ears. Shackles came off. Chains fell to the ground. Confidence was born. Humbly, I sat in my seat.
You see, we are the only ones who can sit in our seats. No one else can live the life that we are called to live. People cross our paths everyday and situations come into view. We have a choice: will we boldly share our hope with a dying world, or will we give Fear our ear and cower in shame? We get one chance. We get one life. Will we live for ourselves or offer our lives to the world? Unselfishly, let’s sit in our seats.