In the book of Genesis we learn that God created all humankind to work together as a team. It went well in the Garden of Eden until sin entered the world and then we went from working as “we” to worrying about “me”. I wonder what it would look like if we could come back to helping each other as part of a team? Maybe it might look something like this…

Charles Plumb was a US jet fighter pilot in Vietnam – He had completed 75 combat missions when he was shot down. Plumb was ejected and parachuted into enemy hands, where he spent six years in a Vietnamese prison.

One day several years ago at the Legion, a man came up to him and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!” Plumb was confused and asked how the man knew about that. “I packed your parachute,” the man replied. The man then shook his hand and said, “I guess it worked!” Plumb assured him it had and said, “If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Plumb thought a lot about that man who held the fate of someone he did not even know, in his hands. He kept pondering how many times he might have seen the guy, and not even said anything because he was a fighter pilot and the stranger was just a sailor.”

Charles Plumb is now a motivational speaker telling this story to hundreds. After telling it, he always asks his audiences, “Who’s packing your parachute?” Here is the point of his motivational speeches. In our life, be it personal or work related, many people have a hand in our parachutes. Are you taking the time to acknowledge, thank, and reward them?

Who are those people that God has put into your life that help you make it through the day or week? How does it feel to be a relationship that is about helping one another? What would your life look like if this was how most of your relationships were? If this is a good thing, how could you make this happen in your life today?

Pastor Paul Backstrom

Gethsemane Lutheran Church

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