1 Thessalonians 5:11
Charles Plum, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was a jet fighter pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile.
Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent six years in a Communist prison. He survived that ordeal and now lectures about lessons learned from that experience.
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!”
“How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb.
“I packed your parachute,” the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man shook his hand and said, “I guess it worked!”
Plumb assured him, “It sure did – if your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform – a Dixie cup hat, a bib in the back, and bell bottom trousers. I wondered how many times I might have passed him on the Kitty Hawk. I wondered how many times I might have seen him and not even said ‘Good morning, how are you,’ or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.”
Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't even know.
-source & author unknown
We all need people around us, that will help us to grow and get through the bad times. And, it is equally important that we each do our part so that we function successfully as brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.
Some of us will have roles that seem glamorous, like the fighter pilot, while others will be behind the scenes, out of the lime-light with jobs like parachute packing -- but all parts are vital to living a Christ like life!
You can easily see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It’s exactly the same with Christ.
God has give each of us a variety of gifts that originate in God's Spirit. God's various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God Himself, is behind it all!
Each of us is given something to do that shows who God is. Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day!
So, I would ask these two questions:
First: Who's packing your parachute? We all need help -- none of us can get by on our own. We need the prayers of others, we need their love and compassion. And, there are those of us who must learn to accept help from others!
Second: Whose parachute are you packing? Are you reaching out to those around you who need a helping hand? Do you see the hungry, the sick and the poor who need you?
It is very important that we don't allow our pride to blindfold us to the people who provide the parachutes in our lives and the lives of others.
With gratitude, it is also important to encourage and thank the people who provide the very parachutes we need in our own lives.
Are you packing or using your parachute today?