I heard a young woman being interviewed on the radio this week. She is well educated and has held several high-powered positions, so the interviewer asked her to share a lesson learned that has helped her to be successful in her work. Her reply went something like this:
“I know it sounds clichéd, but I have found that it is so important to treat everyone I meet as my equal. And when I sit in a room full of people in a meeting, I remind myself to be open to being surprised by who the most important person in the room is”.
While it’s probably not helpful to fixate over who the most important person in the room is, being prepared for the possibility that any person in the room may be able to surprise me and teach me something, or help me in some way is surely a useful life lesson.
We often categorise people by status – their wealth, education, class, etc. Jesus, on the other hand made a habit out of noticing the people that others didn’t see. He spotted Zacchaeus hiding in a tree and saw the goodness in a man that everyone else had rejected. Jesus ignored social conventions to stop and speak with a foreign woman by a well – she had known only rejection in her life and yet she became a leader in her community. The disciples of Jesus themselves were an unlikely lot, and yet they were called and chosen by the King. As are we.
If you are reading this while sitting in church, have a look around the room, put aside the categories we use to define worth and try instead see your fellow worshippers with the eyes of Christ. There are people sitting near you whose stories may teach or inspire you – be open to that possibility this morning! How about staying for a cup of tea after the service then and looking out for someone to talk to?
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