This weekend I’ve been pondering the significance of how we live our lives over what we do for a living.
This past Thursday there was a shooting at a business in Minneapolis. The next day I learned that one of the victims was a family friend during my teen years in Green Bay, Keith Basinski. Keith and I were part of the same church in Green Bay. He had graduated high school and gone to college six years before me. Like many in our denomination, we attended the same college. When he started college many of us younger members of the youth group looked up to him and his peers for their decision to attend North Central Bible College. Since Keith was no longer at NCBC when I enrolled and we were in different social circles during our years in the Twin Cities, I had very little interaction with him after high school. Seeing his name in the news caused me to take some time to learn what he had done for all these years.
Though our alma mater specialized in training people for vocational ministry at the time, Keith pursued a different career after college and worked for UPS. He was driving the route he had worked for many years on the day he visited Accent Signage Systems that final time. Some who see ministry as a profession only may not understand a person who trained for vocational ministry driving a UPS truck for 29 years. As I read the news article comments of many of his regular customers, though, I can’t help but think he demonstrated Christ to many of the people he interacted with on a daily basis. As they learn more about the man who delivered their packages with a smile, they may understand more of why he was the person he was.
Here are just a few examples of comments customers made:
“I am so shocked. I was one of the last people to talk to Keith before this happened. I work at Hirshfield’s. Keith has been our driver most of the 26 years I have worked there. I would see him twice a day, deliveries in the morning and pick ups in the afternoon. Many days we are shipping enough that it take 5-10 minutes to help load his truck and we would talk about our kids, vacations, etc. Our birthdays were on day apart. Keith picked up Thursday’s load about four or just a little latter. I had Friday off and we wished each our a good weekend. Then this happened. Just makes no sense at all. He was a great person. Everything everyone else said about him is true. He wasn’t just my UPS driver, he was a friend. I will remember him forever. May he rest in peace.”
“Keith was a great man… so kind to us on his route…. he delivered to my home and shop since I moved here in 83, he enjoyed seeing the projects being built at Further Performance and looking in on some of my projects, then zoom, out the door to another delivery … he would wave when I saw him driving about town.. keep an eye on my house, and was truly a dear member of our Bryn Mawr neighborhood. Its got to be rough for his family …and I send my condolences …the metro lost a very good man.”
“We are one of the businesses on Keith’s route. He has been our driver since the day we opened 8 and a half years ago. He was always such a kind person and a cheerleader for the business. He was a hero in one of our greatest crises. I’m devastated to hear he was one of the shooting victims and will always remember him specially. My heart and prayers go out to his daughter and family.”
“I am so very sad. Keith has been our UPS delivery driver for many years in Bryn Mawr. Keith always took time to talk and joke around with us every week when he delivered books to us from Amazon. His energy was amazing. He always jumped out of his truck smiling, with a sparkle in his eye. My children called him the “Nice UPS Guy” and whenever they saw a brown UPS truck on the street, they would want to wave to Keith. He will be greatly missed. Our prayers go out to his family and loved ones.”
I will be sub teaching a business class at our local high school tomorrow. I may take some of these comments with me for the students to show that how you do your job says more about you than what you do for a living. Another way that the influence of Keith will go on.