Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought … Romans 12:3
Although these words from Paul are not in our current study of Romans, they are pertinent and timeless. They remind me of this familiar quote from Alex Haley:
“Anytime you see a turtle on top of a fence post, you know he had some help.”
And they also bring to mind this familiar story:
Charles Plumb was a fighter pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his jet was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured & spent six years as a P.O.W. He survived and now lectures about lessons learned from that experience.
One day, when Plumb & his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up & 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 & gratitude. The man pumped his hand & 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 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 passed him on the Kitty Hawk or 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 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.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:3-5
Church of Christ
5120 Franklin Road
Nashville, Tennessee 37220
Phone: (615) 832-2541
Fax: (615) 832-2583