Right now we’re on our way to LAX, flying out to Japan for my husband’s very last flight before retiring from American Airlines. His pilot career there has spanned 37 years. I will also be working the flight … 35 years as a flight attendant. Friday we will be pulling in and saying our very last set of goodbyes to our passengers together at the deplaning door. Bittersweet … a day of joy, gratitude, emotion, and love. God is so great!
I like this for the passion with which these people have treated their jobs. Would that we all had this kind of commitment; that we would be so sad to see that last day come.
Perspective is everything, isn’t it? It could just as easily be: Oh my god, another twelve hours in the cockpit! This is the last time I have to put on a happy face for all those nameless people. Can’t wait until this is over!
Don’t you love the attention and enthusiasm these people have brought to their jobs? They have a holistic, spiritual outlook on everything. You would think this was a pastor saying good-by to his congregation. In a way it is, if he has, indeed, seen his job as sacred. That is his congregation, and you have one too, wherever you work.
My wife, Marti, used to be a flight attendant with United Airlines. A ticket agent we knew at that time used to say he could always tell when one of Marti’s flights was deplaning: Everyone, to the last man, walked off smiling.
Marti loves to tell the story of a year-and-a-half period of time in the early ‘70s, when she and another Christian flight attendant would book the same schedule and pray before every flight for someone to introduce to Christ, and someone, already a Christian, who would encourage them. Because of this, they always booked the schedules with the shortest legs so that they could work the most flights a day — usually around five. And she loves to report that God honored that prayer each and every time. That’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 people she personally introduced to Jesus Christ!
This is what it means to see all of life as sacred, and see your job as a mission field.
Congratulations to Bettina and her husband for so many years of faithful service. Since when does anyone have “just a job?”