"What Is Most Important"
(By: Steve Goodier)

8-6-2009 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #551

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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Patije

Story of the Week
What Is Most Important
(By: Steve Goodier)

Author Erynn Miller said: "It takes a lot of understanding, time and trust to gain a close friendship with someone. As I approach a time in my life of complete uncertainty, my friends are my most precious asset."

I had a friend who felt that way. I sat next to Hal's "death-bed" and thought about the fact that I had known him for over twenty years. Hal knew he was dying and that these next few days would be his last. I held his hand.

We spent time reminiscing about his long and fruitful career as a church pastor. We talked about old friends. We chatted about his family. And I listened as he offered a piece of sage wisdom to someone he believed represented a "younger generation."

Hal seemed to carefully consider what he was about to say next. Then he squeezed my hand, gazed intently into my eyes and whispered, just loud enough for me to hear, "Nothing is more important than relationships."

I knew that this utterance somehow mattered a great deal to him. He seemed to consider a lifetime of experiences - personal, professional, spiritual and family - and this one simple observation surfaced above the rest: "Nothing is more important than relationships."

"Don't get too caught up in your career," he said. "And don't use people just to get what you want, then throw them away. No project, no program, no task - NOTHING - is more important than your friends and family." I never knew Hal that well, but I wondered if he were talking as much to himself as to me.

Remember," he repeated, "that in the end, only your relationships will matter. Tend them well."

Writer Og Mandino put it this way: "Beginning today," he said, "treat everyone you meet as if he or she were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do so with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again."

At the end of a long life, my friend Hal would have agreed.

Pastor's Quote of the Week
He is a wise man who regards all parts from the point of view of the whole. Relate yourself to every man as if you were in his place. Recompense injury with kindness. If you love people, they will draw near you--you will have no difficulty in winning them.

(From: The Urantia Book - Paper-131 Section-8)

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        Help me to recognize the part of You within everyone I meet and to treat them accordingly.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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