Layovers (Luke 7:2-5)

“Man! We would layover in Tahiti for five days! The entire flight crew would hang out at the hotel pool, all paid for by the airlines. We were all together-the pilots, flight attendants, even the ground crew!”

My dear friend, who has been a flight attendant for over thirty years, was fondly recounting a bygone era when airlines would pay the entire flight crew to layover in Tahiti after flying out there from Hawaii. At the time, the airlines believed it would be cheaper to pay for the crew to remain in Tahiti rather than fly them back to Hawaii and then return them.

“We had a blast!” my friend continued. “I keep telling my supervisor that this is the difference between then and now. Today, there is no camaraderie amongst the flight attendants and pilots. There is no time or opportunities to create relationships between the crew and management. It’s not the same anymore.”

It’s a familiar story. Companies seeking to cut costs are slashing perks and benefits that were previously quite common. Is it still possible for a modern company to create a supportive, even familial environment, and still maintain good profit margins? This story from the Bible is a touching reminder how relationships between employer and employee can be harmonious. 

And a centurion’s slave, who was highly regarded by him, was sick and about to die. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders asking Him to come and save the life of his slave. When they came to Jesus, they earnestly implored Him, saying, “He is worthy for You to grant this to him; for he loves our nation and it was he who built us our synagogue.” 

Luke 7:2-5 (NASB)

To place this story in its proper context, the Romans were the conquerors of the Jews and their homeland. Relations were understandably strained between the two groups, particularly amongst the Jewish elders. Yet, this Roman centurion distinguished himself from other Romans by being a kind and caring employer, even contributing from his own savings to build a synagogue for the Jews. His request to heal his slave was even supported by the Jewish elders who recognized his genuine compassion for their people. 

In today’s fast paced world, where profit margins dictate nearly all business decisions, God reminds us that all successful businesses begin with a harmonious workplace relationship. There are many ways this can happen and is only limited by our willingness to put the well-being of our co-workers first. Even in an acrimonious situation such as the Roman conquerors and the Jews, mutual love and respect can emerge. 

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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