One of the survivors of the Vietnam War is Charles Plumb. Now 76-year-old, Plumb, who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, was a fighter jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was downed by a surface-to-air missile. Consequently, Plumb managed to eject safely using a parachute and landed into the enemy’s hands. He was taken and spent 6 years in a Communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and lived to share the experience.
Who packed his parachute
One day, Plumb and his wife were seated in a restaurant when a man at another table came up and asked, “You’re Plumb? You flew fighter jets in Vietnam from the Super 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 heaved in astonishment and gratitude. The man tapped 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.”
The Kitty Hawk was decommissioned in 2009, and there have been talks of recommissioning it under President Donald Trump, who has promised to modernize the U.S. Army.
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.”
Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, anxiously spinning the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn’t know.
Who is packing your parachute
Plumb has frequently asked his readers and listeners, “Who’s packing your parachute?” Everyone has someone who fits what they need to make it through the day. 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.
Sometimes in the daily tests that life gives us, we miss what is truly valuable. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, applaud someone on something incredible that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something pleasant for no reason. As we go through life, it is becoming to recognize people who pack your parachute. We need to appreciate that as we fight the Amalekites, Moses is raising his hands on our behalf, and Moses’ hands are being held up by Aaron and Hur.
Do not forget this
It is remarkable to remember that it was the Hebrew slave-girl who folded Naaman’s parachute, it was the four leprous men who wrapped the chute for the Israelites in Prophet Elisha’s time.
God has used numerous men and women to bring you into the place of your purpose. Never forget that.