The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 3/24

Posted on | March 24, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 3/24

Scripture reading: Romans 12:3–8

Who Packed Your Parachute?

Serve one another with the particular gifts God has given each of you, as faithful dispensers of the wonderfully varied grace of God. (I Peter 4:10, Phillips Translation)

 

All of us are debtors to scores of men and women who have served us in one form or another. These people, known and unknown, are heroes because without them, we simply could not function. Parents, teachers, police officers, highway workers, church elders, grocers, publishers, and soldiers have impacted our lives through deeds of humble service . . . usually behind the scenes. The following story, though difficult to reference due to wide circulation and its being told in different forms, is a dramatic illustration of this truth.

Charles Plumb was a US Navy pilot who flew some seventy-five combat missions during the Vietnam War. Shot down behind enemy lines, he parachuted to earth but was immediately captured. He spent six years as a POW. Eventually he was released and resumed life as a civilian in the United States.

At a restaurant one day where he and his wife were eating, a stranger came to his table and said, “You’re Charles 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. The stranger replied, “Because I packed your parachute!” In amazement, Plumb stood and extended his hand. The man continued, “I guess it worked.” “It sure did,” Plumb responded. “If your chute hadn’t opened, I wouldn’t be here today.”

That night Plumb couldn’t sleep. He kept thinking about the man who had packed his parachute.

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 seen him on the Kitty Hawk 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 wondered how many hours the man had spent at that long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of those chutes. With each humble act of faithful service, he held in his hands the fate of someone he didn’t even know.

This morning, I’m wondering something too: who packed your parachute? As you contemplate this question, perhaps it will encourage you, the next time you have the opportunity to serve someone else, by packing theirs!

 

The real test of a saint is not one’s willingness to preach the gospel, but one’s willingness to do something like washing the disciples’ feet—that is, being willing to do those things that seem unimportant in human estimation but count as everything to God.  —Oswald Chambers

 

point to ponder Think of some invisible act of service you can do for someone today, then do it with joy.

prayer focus Thank God for the invisible people who serve you (farmers, soldiers, firemen, sanitation workers, garbage collectors, church leaders, publishers, etc.).

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