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How many times have you heard this question:  “Excuse me, is that seat taken?”  If you are in a public place, be it church, a ball game, the theater, then you’ve been asked this before.  Today I am dying for YOU to ask ME that question.  Indulge me a moment….

Pretend with me that you and I are in a crowded place and the seats are filling up.  There are a few empty spots around me and you stop and say to me, “Excuse me, is that seat taken?”  And then I say, “Be my guest!  It’s all yours.

(I swear there’s a point to this!)

Today I want to invite you to sit with me and hear something I am learning for myself.  It’s life-changing actually, so I hope you will listen a minute or two.

It’s about position.  Where we sit.  Where we place ourselves and the spot we do life from.

I was praying this morning and found myself repeating an often used mantra that I seem to weave into my prayer life and thought life.  Since I use them so often, I must think this mantra, these threads of words and thoughts, must be strands of gold, sparkling with beauty that will make my prayers shimmer before God, but in reality they are itchy, wool strands, prickly and irritating.

These threads of prayer go something like this:

“God, I know I don’t deserve this, but….” 


I pray for a specific need for myself or someone else and follow it up with “Father, I shouldn’t even ask you for ______ because of my sin.  I know I have failed You in so many ways…..”

I’m not sure what you believe about God speaking to His children, but the Word says He does and I have heard His voice.  Not out loud, like I would hear your’s if we were talking, but quietly in my mind and heart, or in Scripture, or through something someone else might say to me.  I’ve heard the voice of God in music, in books, in nature.  He doesn’t limit Himself to one avenue of communication because we all hear differently and receive differently.  (Off on a rabbit trail….)

(Back on the original trail….) So this morning I was praying and God interrupted me after I had threaded my words with yet another “God, I know I don’t deserve this.”  Very quietly, firmly He got my attention with these words:

“Stop making everything about your past mistakes and sin.  

Start making everything about My grace and the future plans I have for you.”

I grabbed pen and paper and wrote that sentence down.  And then I said, “Yes, Sir.  Help me do this, please.”


Up until today, I have lived the majority of my life from a position of my past failures, shame, and mistakes which has caused me to pray and live out of that place.

Excuse me, is this seat taken? by Trudy Samsill (

God wants me to get up out of the seat I have been sitting in (a chair made of shame, guilt, and past mistakes) and re-position myself in a new seat, a new chair.

He wants me to ask Him, “Excuse me, is this seat taken?”  

Then he wants me to sit down beside Him, re-position myself in a chair cushioned with grace and forgiveness built on sturdy legs of God’s future plans for me.

Doesn’t that sound so much more inviting than the “chair of shame and guilt”?  I would much rather choose a “chair of grace” than the other.  

Can you sit with me and consider what your life and my life would look like if we chose our seating better?  It would change our prayers, our thoughts, our position from which we do life.  It may take some getting used to, this chair of grace.  We have gotten comfortable in our tattered, thread-bare chair of shame and guilt.

Like an old easy-chair or recliner that needed to visit the garbage heap years ago, we hang onto it because we are used to it.  If you’ve ever thrown out an old favorite piece of furniture and bought a replacement, the new one takes some getting used to.  But it’s ooohhhh soooo worth it!  No more itchy fabric, sunken-in spots, rips or tears!! New, beautiful, clean fabric, comfy cushions, and a sturdy frame in its place!

So now that you’ve asked me “Excuse me, is this seat taken?” and I’ve answered “Be my guest!  It’s all yours”  will you sit in the chair beside mine and let’s look at life, then live life from a new position, one of grace, forgiveness, and rest fashioned on God’s plans for you and I!!

I love to hear from my readers, so please feel free to comment at the end of this post with your thoughts on this subject! APPRECIATES YOU!