What About The People?

Wednesday, July 29, 2020
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Mark 8:36 – For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? (ESV)

Years ago, we had a tradition of enjoying a good roast beef dinner after worship on Sunday. To minimize Sunday work, the vegetables would be prepared on Saturday evening. The roast would be put in the oven before we left for church, and we arrived home to the aroma of a lovely roast beef dinner. Add in Yorkshire pudding, which my wife knew how to make to perfection, and it was always a memorable treat.

One Sunday in 1982, our daughter and her husband, who had just returned from their honeymoon, joined us.

We also invited a young mother who had just come from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, where her husband had met a sudden, tragic death. She brought her three-year-old twin girls, who were still in shock from the sudden loss of their father.

We were living on the 32nd floor of a waterfront condominium in Toronto, and our dining room, with floor-to-ceiling windows, had a magnificent view of Lake Ontario and the Toronto Island Airport.

Suddenly, we heard the police boat siren, and we saw it racing towards the airport. At the same time, we saw a small airplane coming in to land. Apparently, the pilot knew that he was in trouble, and he had radioed ahead for help. But it was obvious that the plane would fall short of the runway.

We were all talking excitedly, but particularly listening to our son-in-law. He was knowledgeable about the cost of such a plane, and he was telling us how much money would be lost.

Suddenly, we heard a little voice say, "What about the people?"

The room went silent. The adults had been speculating about the cost of the plane when a three-year-old, who had just lost her father, brought us back to what was really important.

The plane went into shallow water just before land, the people on board climbed out safely, and the police boat rescued them.

I never learned the cost of the damaged plane or, indeed, any other details of the incident. But to this day, I can still hear that little girl preaching a powerful sermon. She was telling the adults in the room that they had their priorities wrong. We were concerned about the loss of an airplane, excited to watch and see if it could make it to the runway.

That lesson has helped me, over the years, to realize that Jesus' teaching in today's verse should be our guiding light. It is so easy to make the acquisition of earthly goods our highest priority. It is natural to want to enjoy nice things. But when all is said and done, they are of no value to us. Only what we've done for Christ will last.

Prayer: Dear Father, help us to realize what is important. Help us to remember that Jesus, who gave His life for our salvation, taught us that we must be prepared to lose our life to save it. In His name, 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:

    Thanks, Vince! Powerful story!

    So true, thanks and blessings Vincent!

    Thanks, Vincent for this powerful story.

    Perspective is vital. Thanks for sharing, Vincent.

    Wow! Powerful story! Thanks for that. Blessings!

    What a meaningful devotion. Thank you so much.

    Thank you, Vince. Through the eyes of innocence.

    A beautiful story and very important lesson. Thank you.

    Thank you, Vincent, for sharing this devotional with us…”and a little child shall lead them…” Blessings.

    Once again you have given us a great life lesson. How I have appreciated your many devotionals through the years.

    Thank you once again Vincent.
    Your message is loud and clear and one I can fully understand and take to heart.

    O dear Vincent, your words (her words), brought tears to my eyes as they will to many other readers of your devotional today! What an inspired writing! Thank you for sharing it.

    Thank you for your devotion today, Vincent. A good reminder in these strange days we are experiencing when so much can seem lost and our world is upside down. Blessings.

    From the mouths of babes – so true. I still vividly remember a children’s story. The minister asked the children if they knew any important people. A four-year-old spoke up saying, “my mommy and daddy told me that no one is more important than anyone else.” The minister humbly responded, “I believe we have just heard the sermon.” Again, thanks for sharing. I so enjoy the devotionals that you write.

    Hello Vince,
    A very touching story and another mindful writing you have written. We can so easily focus on things we think are necessary or important to us, but our greatest focus needs to be on our Lord and Saviour and follow His guidance in our daily lives.
    Thank you for the great writings you submit.

    Thanks, Walter, for the great reminder! My Dad had this written in his Bible.
    Perhaps you knew it too.
    Just one life
    ‘Twill soon be past,
    Only what’s done
    For Christ, will last.
    Please keep reminding us of what’s really important in life!!
    God bless you.

    Hi Vincent,
    As always, your devotionals hit the point in a powerful way. This particular devotional reminded me of the Christmas I remember most. The day after I graduated from high school we moved “home” which was Arkansas. I went away to university. When I arrived back home for the first time, I found a small Christmas tree with ONE package under the tree. While I was enjoying myself at college, my father’s business and our house were robbed. THAT Christmas was when I learned what is really important… Jesus birth and family… and today those things remain the most important to me.
    Thanks again, Vincent.

    What a fascinating story with a lesson for all of us.
    Thank you

    As you said, “out of the mouths of babes”… It was obviously a lesson that not only spoke to you but now speaks to all of us who read it. Thank you.

    I so appreciated your devotional “What about the people?” Truly children can teach us adults valuable lessons. Jesus loved the children. God help us adults to teach our children to love Him.

    Thank you for this message today. You always have a message that speaks to my heart.

    Thank you for the message, and especially for, “What about the people?”
    Keep writing.

    Dear V. Walter,
    Your devotional reminded me of:
    “Only one life; ’twill soon be past.
    Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
    Thank you.

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