Sep 11, 2011

Where were you on September 11th?

Many will be remembering their whereabouts this day, holding steadfastly to memories of what they were doing and how they were feeling the day the buildings at the World Trade Center came tumbling down. You could liken this remembrance to similar phenomena created by the assassinations of men like John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., or John Lennon.

Undoubtedly, someone will ask you where were you on September 11th, 2001? I do remember where I was that day, what I was doing, and the shock and disbelief that encompassed me shortly after I laid eyes on the news broadcast showing the tragedy unfolding live and televised.

I was 22 years old, working in construction, and sitting on morning break when the radio informed us that a plane hit the first tower. I actually though little of it. I had never seen the World Trade Towers, and I never fathomed that what hit them was an actual passenger jet. Ignorantly, I pictured a bi-plane, or a small private jet. Then the news broadcast reported the impact of a second jet into the second tower. Someone finally explained to me the reality of what was happening.

After returning to work and carrying on in complete quietness, they sent everyone home at the report of the explosion at the Pentagon.

When I heard the estimate of deaths caused by the event I was devastated. A few days later, then President Bush called for a day of remembrance and prayer  I left the job site and traveled to the nearest steeple-house I could find. I walked in, found the sanctuary, and took a seat in a pew, and meditated on my own mortality as I considered all those people meeting God under such horrible circumstances.

Physically, I was in Michigan, working, and attending to the daily grind on that infamous day in September. Spiritually, I was completely lost. I knew no Jesus, I had no answer for the deaths of all those people, and I had nothing that represented any absolute measure of true goodness to contrast the tragedy pausing our entire nation.

It would be five more years before Jesus Christ redeemed me and awakened my soul to the sound of his voice. But that day, hindsight being 20/20, nothing made sense.

All the world is still seeking answers to the dilemma of that day, finding answers in the scapegoating of Radical Islam, government conspiracies, and political finger pointing, and the result of that these past ten years have taught me absolutely nothing.

What has taught me something are the words of Jesus, which have etched a reality into my mind that will forever impact how I view tragedies like this,
Luke 13:4-5  "Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?  (5)  "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."
The days of all men are numbered. The manner in which we live may never have any impact on the manner in which we perish. Unless we live for Christ, and submit ourselves to his commands, we shall not inherit eternal life.

On September 11th, 2011 I was lost. But with Christ, I have been found.

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