Sunday, March 8, 2020

When the Unimportant Becomes Too Important

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to introduce you to our newest Write Conversation Columnist - Martin Wiles. I've long admired his writing and the way his dedication to the Lord always shines through everything he does. Now I've managed to persuade him to share his heart with us every month. Be sure to give Martin a warm TWC welcome!

When the Unimportant Becomes Too Important
by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

But all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. (Mark 4:19 NLT)

Sometimes, the unimportant becomes too important.
Marcin Muchalski was taking a morning stroll along the Williamsburg Bridge when a mugger surprised him, took out a gun, and requested his cell phone. Thinking the robber would not shoot him in the middle of the Williamsburg Bridge at seven in the morning, Muchalski dared the robber to pry the gun off his cold, dead hands. The robber obliged by shooting Muchalski in the leg. Instead of handing over the phone, Muchalski limped away as fast as he could with phone in hand. The robber, who had more sense that Muchalski, decided not to chase the man. The phone wasn’t worth a murder charge. 

Or take Marie Murphy, a New Jersey teacher who got a call saying her house was on fire. She rushed home, not fearing anyone was in danger. She knew her husband—and her mother who had been staying with them—was not in the blazing house. But what drove Murphy to run into a blazing house and risk her life? Baseball tickets. More specifically, her season tickets to see the Phillies. 

She ignored all her other possessions—even the certificate of fire insurance—all to save her tickets. Luckily, she made it out before everything else—the house included—went up in flames. Although she and her husband had to live in a motel for a while after the fire, they were able to settle with the insurance company. Murphy was also surprised at school one day when a Phillies fanatic tossed a bunch of Phillies merchandise to her, including a framed World Series ticket. Perhaps around this time, she thought about how foolish her actions had been, especially when she learned the Phillies would have reprinted her tickets because they burned in a fire. 

And then there’s Guita Sazan Silverstein. She decided to leave her two-year-old son in her car on a hot summer day while she did some shopping. When she returned to her car, she discovered she had locked herself out. With temperatures in the upper 80’s, her child was at risk of heat stroke. She called for help. When the firefighters arrived, they told her they would need to break one of her car windows. Silverstein told them no. After all, the car was an Audi. 

Silverstein came up with a compromise. She would drive more than a mile to her home and retrieve her spare set of keys—even though her son had already been in the car for twenty minutes. After borrowing a car to drive home, firefighters broke the window anyway and rescued the child—who by this time was unresponsive, but luckily revivable. When the mother returned, she was arrested for reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor. (7 Most Ridiculous Cases of Misplaced Priorities)

I’ve never made the same mistakes as Marcin, Marie, or Guita, but I have made more than my share of other poor choices. And I have let the not-so-important become important more than I care to mention. 

Jesus tells a story of a farmer scattering seed. The seed fell on various types of soil, some on soil infested with thorns. As the seed sprouted and grew, the thorns choked out the plants. According to Jesus, this represents those who let the worries the life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desire for things distract them. Those who hold too tightly to a cell phone. Those who rush into a burning home for sporting tickets. Or those who let a shopping excursion put a child in danger. 

A regular diet of God’s Word reminds me of what the thorns of unimportance are—and how they can lead me into fields I would do well to avoid. Prayer for strength I don’t have helps me distinguish between the unimportant and the important so I can walk in fertile fields. Fields where the seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control will sprout, grow, and produce fruit for God’s glory. 

Don’t let the unimportant rob you of the blessings of choosing the important.


Martin Wiles is the founder of Love Lines from God ( and serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions, Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, and Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. He has authored six books and has been published in numerous publications. His most recent book, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes in a Busy World, released in December 2019. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, author, and pastor.


  1. Thank you Martin for this important reminder. Welcome to TWC. I look forward to reading more of your posts!! Blessings.

  2. Welcome, Martin.
    Great first article.

  3. Thanks, Martin, for this vivid reminder. And welcome.
    Jay Wright; Anderson, SC

  4. Welcome to TWC sir. Looking most forward to your future posts.

  5. Always enjoy the writings and any other articles in newspapers,devotional books,church magzines, welcome to TWC.