As someone familiar with air travel, I have grown used to seeing the inside of an airplane. However, there’s more to the plane than just the passenger cabin. I don’t usually think about the cargo hold although I’m always grateful when my luggage arrives on the same flight that I do. I’ve been thinking more about how baggage is loaded in light of a story from Seattle earlier this week.
Just after taking off for Los Angeles an Alaska Airlines flight had to return to the airport. The pilots heard someone banging and yelling from inside the cargo bay. I image it was a little unsettling for them. But it was probably more stressful on the baggage handler who was trapped in the hold. Apparently towards the end of his shift he decided to take a nap and woke up once the plane was taking off.
I’m a little confused as to how that happens. Where exactly did he decide to take this nap and how did he get on the plane? Who naps in a baggage cart that’s about to be loaded? You’d think this kind of thing is rare but it’s happened four times in the United States in the last ten years. Rare enough but still, how does this happen? Here’s the kicker: his co-workers knew he was missing but just thought he had gone home early.
Some jobs are more high stress than others but every job has an impact on other people. Bad things can happen when we get careless and don’t pay attention to what we are doing. Or we don’t pay attention to the people around us. Our actions and behaviors have a ripple effect on others. One man’s decision to take a nap affected 140 people on a plane to Los Angeles.
It’s true in the spiritual realm as well. We need to pay attention to how we live and what we are doing. Our actions, prayers and example have an impact on people around us. John says “let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) In other words: watch how you live. Talk is cheap so pay attention to what really matters. Each of us has far more influence on others than we imagine. Are we paying attention to the impact we are making on those around us?