What is the most relevant, first, and last among all questions?


Is there anyone who never felt trapped? Is there anyone who never reached a deadlock as a result of some life event, or another person’s actions, or a health condition, or caused by the world condition or their own government, and, even more importantly, by their own mistakes? Quite possibly some people never experienced anything like it, yet the majority of people have reached a dead-end at least once in their lives, I am sure. Judging from my own experience, I can tell you it is always quite an ordeal. What should one do? If you choose this way, it will negatively affect you. Taking a different approach will only make things worse for you and affect others. When you think you have arrived at an effective solution, you realize there is no money to implement it. You cannot sit and do nothing, as time is short. You have no idea what should be done. You are on the verge of a nervous breakdown and your conscience is killing you. This is what it is like when we reach a dead-end. There is no way out, you feel trapped.

What is the solution? Do we have to wait for the EMS crew to arrive and drag you out of this trap? Hmm, I don’t think they will be useful. Should you give up and stop fighting? Should you pray? But you have likely prayed, though it looked as if the heavens stayed shut and the Lord did not hear you. Now, it certainly comes across as the cause of the most unbearable pain and a major disaster.

Wait, it is not a major disaster yet. The main problem is when you cannot hear Him. Had you heard Him, you would not have been caught in a bind. The one who hears Him walks in His light and never gets lost. We feel lost, trapped, and wasting time only when we stop listening to Him. That is why I will take a risk to share the only viable, in my opinion, way out of any hopeless situation; plus it is a time-tested, effective, and salvific method. Say you were caught in a bind and already wasted time and feel worn out and hopelessly desperate trying to fix the situation on your own. Stop! Stand still and ask the one and only question: What exactly does the Lord want from you? Not what you WANT or what you NEED, nor what is the MOST COMFORTABLE thing for you to do, or what others EXPECT from you, but ask precisely this: what does THE LORD want from you? Or, better if you ask Him: “Lord, what do You desire for me to do? Give me the strength of my mind to understand and make it happen. Anything else is simply irrelevant!”

The only question you are to ask yourself is: What does the Lord want from me?

If you genuinely ask from your heart and are willing to act as you are told, the answer will surely arrive. It will be revealed either through other people’s actions, or through your circumstances, or as a clear-cut and precise thought that would point a way out and offer the solution. Either way, you will see it perfectly well that this is the answer. Everything will fall into place; you will no longer feel like you are about to suffocate, and instead of darkness you will all of a sudden get a glimpse of light.

Why is this so? How does this “mechanism” work and why is it so versatile that it always operates without a glitch? Could it be that there are, in fact, only a select few of us who think it’s imperative to know what is God’s will or who is willing to accept and fulfill His will, and who the Lord does not ever abandon? It is just one of possible reasons. However, first and foremost, it is because the Lord allows us to feel trapped that we might give up our disastrous and rash idea of building our lives according to our own will, abandoning Him and neglecting the fact there is no reliable, unshakeable foundation of our being other than in Him.

Holy Scriptures is replete with stories supporting it as truth and law. Prophet Jonah, objecting to God’s will for him to go to Nineveh and prophesy about repentance to its residents, runs away, as the Bible says, “from the presence of the Lord to Tarshish” (cf. Jonah 1:3), and suffers one affliction after another up to the point of finding himself in the belly of a whale. Only then was the insanity of his intentions revealed to him. Through his repentance he manifests the willingness to fulfill what his Maker and Creator had commanded him to do. Only then is he freed from his frightful jail in the most miraculous and extraordinary way: And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it cast up Jonah upon the dry land (Jonah 2:11).

What is the dead-end, how do we end up in one and why, and what does it consist of? We see a lot of things as unequivocally and implicitly relevant in our lives, again from the perspective of our wishes, opinions, beliefs, or beliefs of others. Whenever these important things are off-limits to us, whenever we are unable to reconcile our needs and convictions with reality, when the reality suddenly prevents us from moving forward—this is what we perceive as desperation and which creates the feeling of hopelessness and despondency about our existing situation.

That’s where we are mistaken. There may be plenty of important things but there is only one ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT thing that was spoken about, heard, and repeated hundreds of times but entirely forgotten: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33). It is not just a commandment, an absolute decree, or a strict order. This instruction shows the way we are to go in order to stay on course. It is the method of building our life so that no one can destroy it. It is the reminder of our predestined path, and absolutely nothing can derail us from it except our own decisions.

Anything can be taken away from us, be it finances, health, social status, jobs, our loved ones, or our freedom. However, no one can deprive us of the most important thing: the ability to serve God. It always remains, under any circumstances, under the most favorable or most oppressive conditions.

We cannot be deprived of the most important thing: the ability to serve God. It remains with us, under any existing circumstances.

Serving God is so many-faceted and all-encompassing that there exists no situation when it would be deemed impossible, some way or other—for our Heavenly Father seeks out those who worship Him in spirit and truth (cf. John 4:23); whereas for spirit and truth there exists neither obstacles nor roadblocks. Even when you are not only deprived of the freedom of movement but also unable to leave your bed of sickness, you can still serve God by patiently enduring the trial of illness and giving thanks to Him, saying it aloud if you can, and within your heart if your tongue fails you. In spirit and truth…

I always feel sorry for those who set certain specific goals in their lives and only see their happiness or, if put more broadly, the meaning of their lives, in bringing those goals to fruition. The more ambitious and grandiose their goals, I repeat, the more sorry I feel for them if all they have is goals and ambitions.

Too many things may become insurmountable obstacles on your path, or you may run upon rocks so that all prospects of success and great expectations of stellar results end up shuttered to pieces! How should one deal with the disappointment when there is nothing but futile hopes and expectations, and they are the most important and precious things?

Truly I say, our deadlocks are of our own making. We cut off our escape routes. But how great is the grace of God when, even after the escape routes are cut off and all bridges seemingly burned, the Lord opens a new path leading to Him, and builds a new bridge that connects us to Him. Against all odds and under any circumstances, we have an opportunity to seize this miraculous chance. Losing it all and being deprived of everything, even if not for the first, or next, and even not for the last time, we must ask that only one and most essential question: “Lord, what do you expect of me? What do I have to do to please You?”

This is the question we should ask before starting anything. And it is never late to ask.

Igumen Nektary (Morozov)
Translation by Liubov Ambrose



Joy paschalidis6/29/2020 6:37 am
Just want to say thank you for Igumen Nektary's Article. Most Important, Relevant Question. Did not find a number on the picture.
Here you can leave your comment on the present article, not exceeding 4000 characters. All comments will be read by the editors of OrthoChristian.Com.
Enter through FaceBook
Your name:
Your e-mail:
Enter the digits, seen on picture:

Characters remaining: 4000

to our mailing list

* indicates required