What Is Important?

by The Salvation Army
Categories: Devotional

Mark 8:36 – For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (KJV)

During the current pandemic, there are many comments appearing about people re-evaluating what is important. It reminded me of a personal experience almost 50 years ago.

I was asked by my employer, a large international technology company, to relocate to rural Quebec, Canada, to be part of the team building an advanced manufacturing site.

This request by the company’s chairman required me to move my family (wife and three children, 6, 9, and 12) from Toronto, Ontario, to a small rural location. It was quite a change but a significant honour.

We built a beautiful home beside a golf course on the side of a mountain. We had two cars, a smaller one and a station wagon with wood panelling on the side.

I had to visit the company’s plants in Sindelfingen, Germany, and Essones, France. Since the company would be paying my expenses, we decided that my wife would go with me, and we would have some vacation time.

Then, I received word that I had been chosen to be part of a small, select group of executives for a week’s training by senior executives in the Netherlands. During the course, we even met with the world-wide CEO. He told us that he had just completed flying around the world eight times in the previous 30 days! I was impressed. Clearly, I felt that I was “on the way up”.

Before we left, a friend from New Zealand, who was finalizing an advanced degree at McGill University, had agreed to move out to our home and work on her studies while staying with our children.

We left the keys to our vehicles with the only instruction that she should use the smaller car to drive in to Montreal for church on the Sundays.

I can only speculate why she took the bigger station wagon in to Montreal. However, leaving the restaurant after Sunday lunch, she accidentally clipped a parked car and stripped the wooden panelling from the right side.

Judy wrote me a letter stating what had happened. I received the letter a few days later, in the middle of the high-level training session.

I was very upset. My specific instructions had been disobeyed, and my “prize possession” had, as a result, been damaged.

As I read this letter, another executive came by and asked why I was so upset. I explained that the lady caring for my children had driven them to Montreal and had been in an accident. He assumed that there were serious injuries. When I explained that no one had been hurt, but the side of the vehicle had been damaged, he expressed shock at the troubled expression on my face.

Suddenly, I realized that my reaction was totally out of order. I have never forgotten the “sermon” that was given to me that day.

Perhaps like me, you have sometimes fallen into the trap of elevating materialistic things above eternal matters. Love of God and love of others constitute what is really important.

Prayer: Dear Father, as we strive to work our way through these challenging times, help us to keep our priorities straight. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Vincent Walter
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

– Copyright 2018-2020 by Vince Walter and reprinted with his permission. This devotional first appeared on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional website, www.presbycan.ca