Carl Quintanilla of CNBC’s Squawk Box was on the road last week, broadcasting segments from across the United States. At the break of dawn on Friday morning, he was in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. A quick segment about US Army Parachute Riggers caught my ear…
Parachute Riggers, as it is, prepare equipment and supply containers for airdrop and also pack and repair cargo and personnel parachutes. As part of training, the Rigger jumps with the chute they pack. And by tradition, Riggers are required to be prepared to jump with any parachute packed by a US Army Parachute Rigger…without checking the log book for the name of the Rigger who last prepared it!
Rigger’s take a pledge:
· I will keep constantly in mind that until men grow wings their parachutes must be dependable.
· I will pack every parachute as though I am to jump with it myself, and will stand ready to jump with any parachute which I have certified as properly packed.
· I will remember always that the other man's life is as dear to him as mine is to me.
· I will never resort to guesswork, as I know that chance is a fool's gold and that I, a rigger, cannot depend on it.
· I will never pass over any defect, nor neglect any repair, no matter how small, as I know that omissions and mistakes in the rigging of a parachute may cost a life.
· I will keep all parachute equipment entrusted to my care in the best possible condition, remembering always that little things left undone cause major troubles.
· I will never sign my name to a parachute inspection or packing certificate unless I have personally performed or directly supervised every step, and am entirely satisfied with all the work.
· I will never let the idea that a piece of work is "good enough" make me a potential murderer through a careless mistake or oversight, for I know there can be no compromise with perfection.
· I will keep always a wholehearted respect for my vocation, regarding it as a high profession rather than a day-to-day task, and will keep in mind constantly my grave responsibility.
· I will be sure – always.
That’s strong. And it has strong implications for us spiritually as we lock arms together in our spiritual journeys, holding each other accountable. Re-read the pledge above and think about it in these terms: what if the spiritual well-being of your friend/spouse/family member depended on you "packing their chute"--a.k.a. holding their arms up in spiritual battle? Would they sink or soar?
Looking at those who walk this journey with me and who count on me for accountability, I cannot assume. It's irresponsible for me to pass over any defect, nor neglect any repair, no matter how small, as I know that omissions and mistakes may send my friend into a spiritual tail-spin. We need each other. That's why we talk at Ridgeview, all the time, about doing life together. NONE of us are capable of doing it on our own. We all need spiritual "riggers" in our life who can catch us when we fall. I hope you are doing that for someone in your journey...and that you are counting on others to do the same for you.