What Is Important?

May 24, 2020
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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.


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About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good lesson, Vincent.


    A good reminder thanks.


    Very helpful devotional. Thank you.


    Amen, Vincent, a lesson all of us must learn. Thanks for writing and sharing. Blessings.


    Two for one, Vincent! I read your devotional on illustrator as well. Thanks for sharing.


    Beautifully said, Vincent. So great to hear this from you today. Thank God you are well and sharing.


    Good morning Walter,
    You are so right.
    Blessings.


    Hello
    It is always good to read a devotional from you. God bless you and keep you all safe.


    Good morning Vincent. When I was young my hot rod was my idol! But I came to realize that an automobile is “just a bucket of bolts, with a nut behind the wheel!” SHALOM


    Thanks, Vincent, for that timely devotional today.
    May God continue to use this gift for His purposes!
    God bless you.


    Dear Vincent,
    A very good message that we need to hear many times over our lifetime so that we don’t forget what is important in our lives. Thank you for sharing.


    Great reminder, Vincent. Glad everyone was safe! Also brought back memories, although not as exciting as your experience. We transferred to Quebec for work and lived on a golf course as well. God bless!


    Greetings Vince,
    Many thanks for your very mindful devotional today. So true that we can get very attached to material things but the real important things to reflect on is the love and care from our heavenly Father who encourages us to be kind to one another and make more peace in our world.
    Blessings for the thoughtful writings you submit.
    (B.C.)


    One of my favourite things to do ls after reading the devotional, to go to the hymn and sing along.
    I have been in choirs all my life but not in one now.
    This also keeps me in practice!
    One of the choirs I belonged to had a theme song,
    His love, put a song in my heart.
    Absolutely true.


    Hello, Walter,
    Thanks very much for today’s devotional. I appreciated it very much. In my own life, I sometimes get all worked up about something, and then I stop and think, “Is this really all that important?” and of course it is trivial in the big scheme of things and compared to what really matters.
    Please keep up your excellent writing and the sharing of your stories.
    God bless you today and every day.


    Dear Vincent,
    lovely thought. I lent a tool to my son-in-law who managed to break it. So bought a reconditioned one that wasn’’t working properly. I was about to send the new machine back as faulty when after hours of dismantling and cleaning I managed to get the machine working.
    Whilst I was annoyed at his lack of care, I realized my relationship with him is more important because he looks to me as another father. Yes, I did poke him with a few jokey barbs, but he was aware of his negligence.


    Dear Walter:
    Please sir think deeply, pray, and do something about the many astonishing ways your company wastes money. How naive your devotional is in a variety of ways!
    A hierarchy of CEOs, Vice Presidents, administrators, and supervisors is unnecessary. They may have had technical and paraprofessional skills at one time, but they soon get out of touch with reality.
    There are no golden years. Each senior has a wealth of valuable and thrilling memories to share, but nobody listens.
    Yes, the point you made was good, but it falls far short. How about shame for an economy then, and still now, based on keeping the majority poor?
    There is much you can start doing/saying to bring justice to the millions who are kept poor. Yes, you can! Don’t just donate to a food bank but enable them to get housing and jobs.
    Good wishes. The Bible does not give us permission to seek pleasure when we retire. We have unfinished responsibilities as long as we live.
    I will be praying for you and your company.


    Thanks, Vince! Great story and such a good lesson!


    Thank you, Vince.
    Especially in these times minor incidents can spiral out of control.
    We need this reminder.


    Thank you for yet another inspiring devotional. I’m looking forward to sharing it with some friends in long term care.
    Blessings.

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