Unpack Your Bag and Get Ready to Leave
Outside of a war zone, a construction site is perhaps the most hazardous work environment. In the UK, it is the leading cause of workplace death . To protect workers and the public, an Engineer has the authority to shut down a construction site for safety reasons – and I have.
I accept that I am more at risk from dying on a construction site than from natural causes. An Engineer who dies of old age has figuratively dodged many bullets. Engineer Paul Clifford’s death on a construction site in Barbados in 2019, was a tragic reminder of that fact. I honour his memory.
The recent death of Engineer Hugh Sealy was shocking, but no less tragic. He did not die of old age, or on a construction site, or from an accident. I understand that he died suddenly and unexpectedly while at play. He was only one year older than I.
UNPACK YOUR BAG.
I believe that each person was born with a bag – a full bag. Our purpose on earth is to empty our bag. Our bag cannot be emptied by dumping. Rather, we must take things out one by one and give them away. Given the uncertainties of life, especially during a pandemic, we should be prepared to leave at anytime – by having our bag unpacked.
We unpack our bag by being kind and helpful to others. Every day presents a new opportunity to demonstrate our love of others, by meaningfully improving the life of someone else.
The responses of others are not our responsibility. If people take what we give them and squander it, then that is their business – not ours. If people repay our kindness by cursing us, then that is their business – not ours. If others question our motives, and ridicule our efforts, then that is their business – not ours. However, our motives are important.
What should be our motivation for helping others? Is it to allow them to be self-sufficient and independent, or to keep them dependent on hand-outs that trap them in a hand-to-mouth poverty? Do we share enough knowledge so that others may improve, or just enough to keep them entertained? Are we helping others to advance their career, or are retarding their career to maintain our superior position?
Recording someone doing a good performance at a public event, including in a church, and then posting it on social media, may be helpful. Sharing it and encouraging others to view it may also be helpful. However, criticizing them publicly, to discourage them from performing, is not helpful.
There is a vast difference between personal criticism, to discourage them and others from trying, and an honest critique of their work to encourage them and others to do better. Our motives are important, especially to our future.
Jesus made it clear that He will judge us all at the end of the age. He also described why we were on this earth, and what He expects us to do while we are here. Hear Jesus.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25: 31-46)
Start unpacking that bag peoples. Every day we live has new opportunities to distribute its contents – the good things that we are supposed to do to others.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com
 Health and Safety Executive. Workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain, 2021