For as long as we have lived in our current house, we have had a comfy chair beside our dining room table. It used to be a rocking chair (that was covered by a throw after Layla chewed large chunks out of it when she was a puppy) The rocking chair has now been replaced by a cuboid leather chair.
The chair’s principal function is to provide a more comfortable place for Rob to sit while I finish my dinner! I am an extremely slow eater (I was once the last person to finish each of the three courses at a wedding reception with over 200 guests!)
This year I designated the chair as a place to read fiction slowly. I promised myself to read at least once a week in this comfy chair! I have managed to read many chapters of ‘All the light we cannot see‘ in this chair.
Apparently reading fiction improves brain connectivity & function. Also, ‘Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are’ (Mason Cooley) Escapism at it’s best!
A couple of years ago I read a novel called The Chair– about a chair with supernatural powers as it had been carved by a carpenter from Nazareth two thousand years ago.
The idea of an extraordinary chair is not a new one. At the Giant’s Causeway, there is a rocky seat known as the Wishing Chair. Apparently, this chair was made for the giant, Finn MacCool, when he was a child. And ever since, so legend says, all wishes made by anyone at the Wishing Chair will come true.
I’ve been listening to an audio-version of Bill Hybels’ book Simplify. In it, he stated that the first practice to unclutter your soul is chair-time.
This chair doesn’t have to be extraordinary or fancy. We simply need to find a chair to spend time with God. Bill urges us to schedule chair-time to sit & read the Bible with the Author & to take time to listen to what He has to say.
‘Come near to God and he will come near to you.’
(James 4:8 NIV)
‘God gives us everything we need for space -but we will have to make space.
God gives us all the ingredients for time -but we will have to make time.’
The idea of spending time in the chair is simply that- creating space to commune with God.
For our God desires to have a relationship with us. He longs to be close, not distance. If we feel that God is far from us, we have moved away.
I’m not sure why, but when I thought about chair-time with God, I found myself re-reading the chapters of The Shack where Mack spent time gazing at the stars & walking across the lake with Jesus. Our God is the good, good Father & the Friend who is closer than a brother.
No matter what we need , what our inclinations are or what our days look like we could all benefit from chair time. As Bill Hybel’s earlier book title stated, we are too busy NOT to pray.
We need to slow down.
And be still.
That the Great I AM is God.
‘Be still, and know that I am God’
(Psalm 46:10 NIV)
‘Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings’
(Hebrews 10:22 NIV)
PS This is the puppy on the chair before it was chewed:
Edited & updated- originally posted @ www.blessedme.co.uk