I mentioned that my folks are in town. I don’t get to spend as much time with them as I’d like.
Partly it is because of the distance. They live up in Virginia.
But my work has always played a big factor. Vacation time is always limited, and I never seem to get a chance to do everything I want.
Even when they come to see us I have to work. I guess someone forgot to tell the ships to stop running so I could have a better personal life!
I had to go out to a ship last night. It should have been a fairly easy deal. Just an hour or two of work and then back home to the family.
Except the ship was late. Very late.
It was late enough that I had time to catch about an hour’s snooze while I waited. I’m sure that is one of the safer things I do in this job. Sleep in my car on the docks in the middle of the night.
Of course it was smoking hot here in Savannah, even well after sundown. With the humidity up on into the Tropical Jungle scale. But I still managed to nod off for a bit.
I woke up when the ship got to the dock but it still took a while before I could get aboard to do my thing. While I was waiting I got to thinking about how many people are somehow involved in a container ship’s cargo operation.
The list really is pretty long. You’ve got the ship’s crew, longshoremen, stevedores, machine operators, mechanics and repairmen. Depending on the operation that could bring us to the hundreds already. And it doesn’t count all the individual shippers and receivers of the cargo, the folks working in the warehouses on either end of the shipment, the various customs and enforcement officials at either end, and all the functionaries who make sure the paperwork gets processed correctly.
Oh, and then there’s a handful of miscellaneous consultants like myself who make their living helping the process run more smoothly.
Global trade really does involve a lot of folks, all of them interconnected by a common goal. And that’s just in one industry. Imagine how totally interconnected we all really are when you stop and think about all the things we do, consume, and produce.
Yet even when I was thinking last night during my wait about such a large and diverse a group of people spread all over the world like that I couldn’t help but think that God was looking down on the whole thing, keeping a watchful eye on it all. Check out this passage from one of the Psalms:
Let everyone in the world fear the LORD,
and let everyone stand in awe of him.For when he spoke, the world began!
It appeared at his command.
The LORD shatters the plans of the nations
and thwarts all their schemes.
But the LORD’s plans stand firm forever;
his intentions can never be shaken.
What joy for the nation whose God is the LORD,
whose people he has chosen for his own.
The LORD looks down from heaven
and sees the whole human race.
From his throne he observes
all who live on the earth.
He made their hearts,
so he understands everything they do.
The best-equipped army cannot save a king,
nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.
Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory–
for all its strength, it cannot save you.
But the LORD watches over those who fear him,
those who rely on his unfailing love.
He rescues them from death
and keeps them alive in times of famine.
Just a little something to ponder as you are out and about this weekend.
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