What is it about the pews at the front of the church that make them unappealing to most of the congregation, myself included?
I know from a childhood spent in the second row, it's very hard to look around when you are up front. Everyone behind you knows the exact moment your attention wanders. It is impossible to casually look over your shoulder to check the clock at the back of the sanctuary.
I know those things shouldn't matter: I am not at church to catalog what everyone is wearing or to make sure my one hour of church service is dutifully time stamped. Those empty front rows bother me. We are crammed into the back of the room, as if we are afraid to sit too close to the front.
And yet, I try to imagine myself moving from my usual half-way back pew, and I can not. Mostly because my attention does wander, sometimes, and I like knowing only about half the people in the sanctuary will be aware it.
I'll be staring at the other half.