Reflection...Who Packed Your Parachute?

In a week, 50+ contestants will arrive in Chicago for the Mrs. International Pageant. I hope through this blog entry that I will make you think deeply about the legacy you want to leave. Each contestant has been blessed with the opportunity to compete among the best of the best. One of you will leave with the crown and the title of Mrs. International 2011.  If it is not in God’s plan for you to wear the crown, what do you want others to remember about you? I love the story below and I challenge you to read and re-read before you arrive in Chicago. You already wear  a crown, represent a title, your  family, your  state, and country with grace and style. Please take the time to read below? What do you want your legacy to be? I will see you in a week!!!!  

Who packed your parachute?

Charles 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


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 of life, we miss what is most important. We often 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 week, competition week, the weeks after Nationals, and even for the remainder of your reign…don’t forget to recognize the people who pack your parachutes. 

Thank you to all who packed my parachute…I love you!

Shannon Devine


  1. Shannon,
    I am so proud of you and how you represented our great country during this year. I have read all the comments of people whose lives you have touched, and some brought smiles, some brought tears, but all of them gave me a sense of you fulfilling God's plan for your life. We are all called to be ministers, and through your pagentry you have shared the Good News of God's Love thru your platforms.
    May God continue to Bless you and your family as another phase of your life begins to unfold.
    I love you very much and so proud to call you my Daughter-in-law.

  2. Shannon-

    I am so proud of you and the message that you have shared with others during your reign as Miss International 2010. You have proven to women of all ages that they should never give up on their dreams...and have reminded them that the best things in life are worth waiting for. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for you next...and I am so excited to watch Halle Grace grow up to be a beautiful queen just like her mother. And I pray that she is just as sweet and smart as her daddy is too! Enjoy your last week and I will be praying for you and cheering you on back home in North Carolina.

    Love you,
    Heather Shaw


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