Thank You…Two small words that can make a world of difference in the World. Thanksgiving is one day in the whole year, but isn’t everyday an opportunity for Thanksgiving? Every day is a gift of new beginnings and “fresh starts”. What if you and I began every day with a Thank You to God? What if every day we expressed our gratitude to God for the incalculable blessings that flow from God?
The Psalmist well understood the importance of expressing our unending gratitude. What if we not only expressed our gratitude to God, but to each other as well?
Consider the story of one person who learned the power of gratitude. 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 communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table 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 the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know.
Now, Plumb asks his audience, “Who's packing your parachute?” Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. He 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 challenges that 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 you go through this month, why not recognize people who pack your parachutes?
Thanking God for each of you every day! Thankful for the shared journey and for the opportunities to share the Love of God with ALL God’s children. Adopt and attitude of gratitude, it’s contagious!
Speaking of “adopting” -Here is an opportunity to help “Pack a Parachute” – You are invited to the inaugural Serve Rome Lunch and Learn. Lutheran Services of Georgia, a Serve Rome Partner, is hosting the Lunch and Learn on November 16, from Noon – 1 PM in the Wilder Dining Room. In celebration of National Adoption Month, come and learn about all things adoption. Lutheran Services will present a brief presentation on their adoption program, the children who need homes and how you can help. Lunch will be provided. Please R.S.V.P to Laura Fowler at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706)372-0625 by Noon Thursday, November 15.
See you here this Sunday as we gather with thankful hearts to give God Thanks.