Who Packed Your Parachute?

  Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really
important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate
someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a
compliment, or just do something nice for no reason.
  Charles Plumb, 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. Mr. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy lands.
He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He
survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.

  One day, when Mr. 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 Mr. Plumb. "I packed your parachute," the
man replied.
  Mr. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped 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."
  Mr. 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 white hat,
a bib in the back, and bell bottom trousers. I wonder 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."
  Mr. Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at 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 know.
  
Now, Mr. Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?"
Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the
day. Mr. Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes
when his plane was shot down over enemy territory - he needed his physical
parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual
parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety. His
experience reminds us all to prepare ourselves to weather whatever storms lie
ahead. As you go through this week, this month, this year...recognize people
who pack your parachute!
Who Packed Your Parachute?