by Rev. Brandon Nagel, Senior Minister
There are many things that have been truly wonderful about being a father. Whether it is the cute, funny comments that my daughter makes as her little mind tries to process this very weird world, or the quiet moments where a hug and an “I love you, Daddy,” I forget about every single worry and fear in my life. I have truly enjoyed every moment I’ve been fortunate enough to get to spend with my two little girls.
One of my favorite times of the day is at night before bed when all four of us snuggle into bed and read books. Some books are childhood favorites from when I was little and some are brand new to me, but it is always fun to get to spend the time together as a family. Now that my oldest daughter is three, we have started to read books that are a little bit longer than Go Dog Go. And one of those books is The Three Questions, which is based on a short story by Leo Tolstoy. Throughout the story, the main character is driven by a quest to find the answer to three questions. Who is the most important one? What is the most important time? What is the right thing to do? And although we can learn much from answers to those questions, I would like to focus on the what he learns is the answer to his first question,
“Who is the most important one?”
Because what he ultimately learns is that the most important one is the person that you are with at the moment.
Whoever is in front of you at that time, that is the ‘most important one’. Of course, what follows from that answer is the understanding that we should then do all that we can do to support them in that moment. Keep in mind that supporting someone does not always mean doing and giving them everything they want.
Supporting someone often means seeing the presence of God in them, even if they can’t see it themselves. Which often means that supporting someone means doing all you can to
help them find the presence of God within themselves. Regardless of what that support ends up looking like, the important thing to remember is that you are doing all you can for whoever is in front of you.
This is a lesson that I have had to learn multiple times. I’m getting better, but I’ve always had this impulse to look forward, to have my task list running through my mind. So, as I am with someone, instead of listening to they have to say, I find myself focusing all my attention on what I still have to do today. Now, I know that I shouldn’t assume to know what others do, but I am going to assume that I am not the only one who has been in a conversation with someone else and found myself thinking about what I needed to do later that day, or what I was going to eat for dinner that night. It’s a natural part of our mind to focus on these things, but what I am going to suggest is that we all make a conscious effort to focus a little more on one another and as far as the worrying that is distracting us? I hope that we can find ways to remind ourselves of our Unity principles and remember the truth that the presence of God is supporting us in whatever lies before us and know that all is well.
So, as you go through your day, your week or your year, take the time to be aware of how you are treating that person in front of you. Are you really treating them as the most important one? Or, are you focusing instead on thoughts apart from this present moment? These thoughts take you away from connecting with the presence of God as it is manifesting in front of you. I hope you will join with me in taking the time to treat everyone you meet as the most important one in your life, because in that moment, they are.
Remember that doesn’t mean you have to give them everything they want. It just means you have to see them as the presence of God that they are. Understanding that they are expressing the same light that you are expressing and so from that perspective, in that moment, they are the most important one.