Tag Archives: parachute

How Our Story Ends

Story of the Day for Wednesday June 20, 2012

How Our Story Ends

 

                                                                                       But what will you do in the end?

                                                                                                                       Jeremiah 5:31

 

George Hopkins wanted to prove he could do the impossible and, unfortunately, succeeded. On October 1, 1941, Hopkins jumped from a plane and parachuted to the top of Devils Tower in Wyoming.

While we can admire George’s daring feat, many feel he should’ve spent more time meditating on how he planned to get down. In Hopkins’ defense, he had instructed his pilot to drop an axle from an old Ford onto the summit of the Tower. He planned to wedge the axle into a crevice, tie a rope to it, and shinny down to safety.

When the axle hit, however, it bounced over the edge. It’s just as well — the plan wouldn’t have worked anyway. His rope was too short.

Now what?

We have a daredevil sitting on top of an enormous monolith rising over 1200 feet from the surrounding countryside — without food, shelter, or warm clothes.

 

Achieving bold, daring goals is a waste of time . . . if you haven’t planned what comes next. Many professional athletes are obsessed with the dream of standing on the winner’s podium. But once they achieve their goal, they don’t know how to climb down. Whether the goal is winning at sports, raising a family, or reaching retirement, many suffer from depression after they have reached their goal.

Those who are most focused on achieving goals are most apt to flounder afterwards because they never planned for what comes next.

 

Hall of Fame baseball manager, Earl Weaver, approached the game differently from most. If a runner on first steals second base, he’s better positioned to score. But Weaver didn’t like to call for a steal unless he only needed one run to win the game. Holding the first baseman to the bag increased the possibility of several runs scored rather than one. Weaver had the uncanny ability to focus on the final score rather than the next score.

 

When we pray, we usually ask the Lord for blue skies at our picnic. But God will often disappoint us when we are focused on our present happiness because he is more concerned with how our story ends.

Jesus doesn’t care how rocky a road is; he cares where the road ends up.

 

George Hopkins’ hairbrained stunt left him stranded on top of Devils Tower for six days. He was eventually rescued by a handful of experienced mountain climbers.

Afterward, when Hopkins was asked why he did it, he said it was “to let people know just what a person can do with a parachute.”

 

He showed us far more than he imagined.

                                                 (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Who Packed Your Parachute?

Story of the Day for Tuesday September 20, 2011

Who Packed Your Parachute?

                     Remember your leaders who spoke God’s Word to you. 

                                                                  Hebrews 13:7

 Captain Charlie Plumb piloted an F-4 Phantom jet during the Vietnam War. On May 19, 1967, he was flying a mission near Hanoi when his jet was hit by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy territory.

Years later, Plumb and his wife were eating in a restaurant in Kansas City. A man a couple tables away kept staring at him. Later, the man got up from his table, walked over up to Charlie and said, “You’re Captain Plumb.”

“Yes, sir, I’m Captain Plumb.”

“You flew jet fighters in Vietnam,“ he said. “You were on the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk.” The man continued to recite Plumb’s history in Vietnam: being shot down, parachuting into enemy hands, and spending six years as a POW.”

“How in the world,” Charlie asked, “did you know all that?”

“Because,” the man replied, “I packed your parachute,” adding, “I guess it worked.”

 

Charlie Plumb has shared his meeting with this sailor with thousands of audiences. When he finishes his story, he asks: “Who packed your parachute?”

We focus on those who achieve great things as if their accomplishments were done on their own. Yet, Charlie Plumb’s encounter with a sailor from the Kitty Hawk led him to realize that his success is due to the help and sacrifices of so many others.

 

After World War I, a returning vet rented an apartment in Chicago in order to live next to one of his favorite authors, Sherwood Anderson.

For two years, the two met nearly every day. When the young veteran, hoping to become a writer, brought samples of his work to Anderson, he could count on receiving brutally honest critiques. After each critique, the young man would return to his typewriter and seek to improve his writing.

Seven years later, the young man, Ernest Hemingway, published his first novel, The Sun Also Rises. “I didn’t know how to write,” Hemingway admits, “until I met Sherwood Anderson.”

After Hemingway’s success, Anderson moved to New Orleans. He began mentoring another young writer. Three years later, this new student, William Faulkner, published the American classic, The Sound and the Fury.

Anderson was a fine writer, but is better remembered for those he helped. Three of Anderson’s students won the Nobel Prize for literature and four won the coveted Pulitzer Prize.

 

Who mentored you? Who guided and instructed you to become the person you are?

Whatever we achieve in life, it’s important to remember two important people: those who guided us with their wisdom, and those who packed our parachute.

                                                                 (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)