* PACKING YOUR PARACHUTE *
Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet 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 6 years
in a Vietnamese prison. He survived and lectures on lessons learned from his experience!
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man 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 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."
Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, "I kept wondering what he had 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." Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship,
carefully weaving shrouds and folding silks of each chute, holding in his hands the fate of someone he didn't know.
Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?" Everyone has someone who provides what he or she
needs to make it through the day. He also points out that we all needed many kinds of parachutes when our life is shot
down over enemy territory - we need a physical parachute, we need a mental parachute, we need a emotional parachute,
and especially a spiritual parachute. Plumb called on all these supports before returning home safely.
Sometimes in the daily challenges 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. As this day, this week, this month, this year, goes by think of and recognize all of the
folks who pack your parachutes. Give them a pat on the back for no reason at all. J
I am sending you this as my way of thanking you for your part in packing my parachute. And I hope you will send it
on to those who have helped pack yours!
Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word. Maybe this could explain it:
When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do --- you forward jokes. And to let you know
that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still loved, you are still cared for, guess what you get?
A forwarded joke or some type of E-mail like this one.
So my Brothers and Sisters, next time when you get a forwarded joke or any forwarded E-mail, don't think that you've
been sent just another forwarded message, but that you've been thought of today and your Brothers and Sisters on the
other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile, just helping you “Pack your Parachute”.