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10 Years Ago


10 Years Ago

It was just around 9AM when I opened my door and walked out of my office.  Turning the corner at the end of the hallway, I ran into a colleague.  He said, “Have you been listening to the radio?”  It was common for me to be listening to the morning news…but I hadn’t.  “I think I heard that a plane ran into one of the big buildings in NYC,” were the next words out of his mouth.  My first thought was that a gust of wind or mechanical error took a single prop into the side of one of the skyscrapers.

I walked back into my office and turned on the radio, not even thinking about what my friend had just told me.  I then sat and stared out the window as I listened to the play by play of the newscaster for the next 45 minutes.  I struggled to picture what was happening.  I’m a picture type thinker…so I needed images to back up what I was hearing.   The rest of the staff and me would periodically meet in the main office as we heard different pieces of information.  I soon had my keys in my hand and was on my way home.

I steered into my drive-way, radio fixed to a news station, and froze as the news anchor said, “Dear God…”  The first tower was on its way down.  For the next 5 hours I sat in front of the television trying to make sense of what was happening.  My wife was teaching in a local elementary school, and had heard the news but not many details…that is until some parents came to pick their kids up in the middle of the day.  My kids were still in day care at the church building.  I had thought about picking them up, but couldn’t pull away from the TV.  I knew they were in safe hands.

The next few days were a blur.  Actually, the next week was a blur.  I was dealing with lot of phone calls from parents wondering what to tell their kids.  People were calling the church office to see what kind of service we were going to have on Sunday.  Sunday School teachers were wondering what they should or should not talk about in class.  I think we were all shaken.

Why?  That was the biggest question.  I still have no answer other than this one.  A few people who don’t believe in my God chose to fly planes into buildings for the purpose of mass murder.  That’s all I know.  Well, that’s not completely true.  I know this as well:

  • Matthew 5:45 says, “For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”

This event was huge in the history of not only America, but all world.  Some cheered the destruction and others mourned with us.  Some formed conspiracy theories and some wanted heads on silver platters.  Many signed on the dotted line committing the next few years of their lives to the armed forces of the United States.  Others froze in fear and saw terror everywhere they looked.  What we all found was a feeling of being vulnerable.

We were reminded, forcefully so, that we are not in control of this world.  We were reminded that bad things happen.  We were reminded that life can be short and that grief is never far from our doorstep.  We were reminded that we need to stay close to a God that allows for free will.  Many of us were reminded of the scripture that says ‘This world is not my home’ (John 17:16).

Here is something else I know.  There are two forces in this world…only two.  God and evil.  We are reminded everyday of these two forces.  We see love and we see everything we would call the opposite of love.  In reality, there should be no reason to forget about God.  But sometimes we do.  And sometimes, events of this world shake us and remind us that evil is still around.

If it is true that God causes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on both the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45), then we can assume righteousness and evil will both be in our world.  From what I read in the Bible, I figure that God either allows or causes things to happen.  That means He has given people the opportunity to follow His will.  In doing so, He’s also allows people to disobey His will.  Ten years ago 19 hijackers chose to disobey God’s will.  God allowed it.  Why?  I have absolutely no idea.  But the scenario fits within what I know from the Bible…so I have to trust that God is working in the midst of tragedy.  The angry part of me also has to trust that the Judge of all people will render a judgment on those who murdered in the name of their ‘religion.’  I also have to remember that Jesus died on the cross for sinners such as those…and me…and everyone else.

So what do we remember at this ten year mark?  We remember that 3000+ lives were taken.  We remember that countless other lives were affected.  We remember that there are those around us, who like many that day, are willing to give of their own lives to save others.  We remember those who served and serve publicly and privately for our watch care.  We remember that our country continues to fight offensively against those that would try to tear our way of life apart.  We remember that there is a God that is bigger than all of our worries and fears and grief and that He is ultimately in charge and still holds the promise for all who choose to follow and believe in His Son, Jesus Christ.

That’s all I know.  I’m sure that my questions and yours will be answered one day.

Love, Serve, Spread the Word,

ed

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