A Seat at the Table
I believe we’re all put in each other’s lives for a reason. I believe as human beings, we are all connected in some way. I believe that nothing happens by accident. Like the alchemist says, when you want something, the entire universe conspires to help you get it. I also believe that when we fearlessly chase our dreams and let our lights shine, we give other people permission to do the same. I believe that we are all put on this earth to manifest and radiate the Glory of God within us, and in that sense we are all connected in some way.
In my mind, I imagine a table that God has given each and everyone of us a seat at, a table where there is abundance, and where our cup overflows. A table where we are all invited to. The Psalmists say “The Lord anoints my head with oil, my cup overflows.” Growing up, I never knew what the words ‘my cup overflows’ meant; as far as I was concerned, it was just something I had to recite. However, I grew to learn that in ancient Rome, when feasts were held in families, there would be wine and not just wine but barrels and barrels of wine; and the hosts will keep on bringing out more and more wine to serve the guests. And when one barrel of wine finished, another barrel would be brought out, and the guests will continue to be served with wine all night. But when the wine finally finished, this was a sign for the guests to go home, in other words, the party was over, their invite had run out. In essence, they lost their seat at the table. So when the Psalmists wrote, with the Lord my cup overflows (or runneth over as it is in some versions), what they were really saying was that in the presence of the Lord, the wine never runs out. In essence, we are always invited. Our invitation does not have an expiry date. Essentially, we all have a seat at the table and we can dine with God all night long (or simply put, with God the party is never over ;)
In Ancient Rome as well, the food would be passed round the table. For instance, there would be a bowl of bread and everyone would take their share and pass it on to the person next to them. This is still adopted in many cultures. This means more for me however. In this fictional seat at the table, I believe this bowl of bread represents the way we are connected. For me, it represents the way God works in our lives. In essence, when God shows up in your life in an amazing way, and gives you that tears to your eyes testimony, it is not for you and you alone, it’s for you to pass it on to the person beside you so they too can witness God’s glory and see how great He is, and so that with your faith, they could be inspired to believe in His ways as well. And when God shows up in their lives too, which He will because He is faithful, they too can pass it on, and the cycle begins again, until more and more people know about Him. I remember graduating from University and being so amazed at the way God moved in my final year and deciding I was going to make a blog about it, but life happened and I abandoned this idea for a while. But it seemed like every time I tried to run away from it, I’d get a new sign that I was meant to do this. Whether it was through telling someone who was struggling with University or a law degree about my law journey and just seeing their reaction. Most recently, I shared a post I wrote about my final year with a law student from my alma mater and she was so in awe and she said, you have to start your blog asap, do you know how many people in my year need to hear this. All in all, it’s all about that table and as believers, we just need to keep passing it on, and it’s never too late to do this.
I also believe that as children of God, we deserve the best life has to offer, whether it’s in our schools, our workplace or our communities. My favourite Bible verse is that “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human mind can fathom the amazing and wonderful things that God has planned for you.” The word also says that "nations shall call you blessed", notice it didn’t just say people, but nations. Isn’t that amazing? This is why as children of God, we need to dream big, in fact, if people don’t laugh at your dreams, they’re not big enough. I remember telling someone, I wanted a first class in law and she laughed. I also remember telling someone, I was applying to Oxford and he found it funny. Both dreams became a reality in the end. What am I saying? As believers, you need to stop limiting yourself, nothing is too big for God to do; we serve a God of the impossible, a God that can move mountains, and a God that defies earthly standards. So you need to raise the heights of your dreams. Like I said earlier, we all have a seat at the table, and this means ultimately that we deserve to eat at that table and not to feed on the crumbs under it. So don’t just apply to the easiest job, or attempt the easiest question on that exam, or not aim for that first. Don’t limit yourself, take up that difficult role, attempt that hard question, apply to that top university, begin that start-up, create that website, write that book, give that speech you’ve been so afraid to give, take a risk today! And believe me, on the other side of that risk is something amazing waiting to happen!
I always somehow go off point with my posts, that entire last paragraph was unprecedented. Anyways, back to the table. When I imagine a seat at the table, there’s one particular memory that comes to mind. If you’ve been reading my blog, you’d know that to graduate with a first class, I needed a 76% average in my final semester, which is almost impossible for law. This time last year, I did not believe it was remotely possible; in fact I was very worried and anxious when I thought about it. So in my second semester of my final year, I was a part of the Christian Society at my University called ‘Chosen’ and they were organising this love feast, it was going to be a night of food and live performances. I went that day with three of my friends from Uni. It was a black tie event, and everyone was allocated to tables that could seat six people. Somehow my friends and I ended up being seated with these two girls we had never met before.
The night went on, the food was good and the performances were even better. One of the girls, I had not met before, was seating next to me. She told me she had graduated from Surrey the year before; she said she had studied Mathematics. As time went on and we talked more, she mentioned that she was on a third class in her first year and that she needed a 76% average to finish with a first class. I remember just pausing in amazement as she said that, because I needed the same grade too! She said she didn’t just get a 76%, she said she had an average in the eighties in her final year and she ended up graduating with a first class! Now wait a minute, this girl went from a third class to a first class. I asked her how she did it, and her answer showed me that my seat on that table that day was not an accident. She said it was God- that it was just God. That’s when I knew that I was meant to be there that day. How could I have been seated next to someone who had faced the same challenge I was facing and they had a story of how they overcame that challenge. I knew my seat at that table that night was no accident and that God was trying to tell me something. My friend who was also there as well was so surprised, she was like “Tunrie, you see, you also need a 76% and she did it so you can do it.” I’m not so good with names, so I can’t remember this girl’s name, but I remember her story, and it has stayed with me even until a year and a half later. I remember leaving that day and just having this feeling that I could do it and that my goal was actually possible because someone else had achieved the same thing.
What am I trying to say? Wherever we find ourselves, whether in our schools or in our workplace or our communities, we are not there by accident. Where you are right now is a divine orchestration from God. God wants to do something phenomenal in your life, not just for your benefit but so that after you take your share from that bowl of grace, you can pass it on to the person seated next to you, just like the girl seated next to me at the Love Feast did, and just as I hope I can do with this blog. The word says that you are a light that cannot be hidden, a city set upon a hill, you were born to let your light shine as bright as possible, and by doing this you unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
Also on that table, there are two categories of people, and I believe that as believers we’re either going through one of these two phases. We’re either on the giving end or on the receiving end; we’re either receiving the bowl of bread or passing it on. Essentially, we’re either receiving grace or passing it on. That day I was on the receiving end, today I’m passing it on. In life, there will be ups and downs. There are times when you will feel awesome and like you’re on the mountain top and it will be really easy to praise God, and there are other times when it will really be a sacrifice of praise. But as believers, we need to be committed to praise God no matter what is going on around us. We need to cultivate the habit of passing on that grace no matter how we might be feeling, because that same grace was given to us. You might be reading this and for a while now, you’ve just been waiting for that blessing, for that big thing you’ve been praying for to happen. How about you pass it on instead? How about you bless someone else, and make their prayer a reality. Try this and you’d be amazed at what happens. It could be through an encouraging text, a donation, food, a word you received or even something as little as an unexpected gesture. It could be through sharing this post with someone you know that needs it. The word says, that God encourages those who encourage others. So try and make someone’s day today and see if the entire Universe won't conspire to make your dreams a reality!
Sending Positive Energy your way!