9/11: Past, Present, and Future

9/11 Tribute in Light

"Tribute in Light" courtesy of Brendan Loy

Remembering the Past

I turned on the television this evening with the intention of listening to the news while I worked on various projects around the house.  It didn’t quite go according to plan.

The first sights and sounds that greeted me when I switched on the television were reliving the terrible events of September 11, 2001 when America was attacked by terrorists.  It turned out to be a commercial-free documentary memorializing that dreadful day.

I hadn’t intended to watch television, but I couldn’t pull myself away.  I was just as horrified today as I was when these events actually happened nine years ago.  In fact, I’ve avoided watching video of the attacks since they occurred in 2001, and this was the first time I had relived them in such an immersive way.

I must confess, I flat-out wept for an hour.  It wasn’t just the horror of that day or the grief of seeing my country attacked.  It was much more than that.

Living in the Present

As I watched the timeline of events unfolding and the interviews of those who had physically been there, I kept thinking, “God, You used this tragedy to wake us up, to grab our attention, so that we might return to You and remember what is truly important.  And nine years later, have we already fallen back into our selfish, complacent slumber?”

The Apostle Paul’s admonition to Timothy came to my mind:

“No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”  2 Tim 2:4

… followed by Paul’s message to the church at Ephesus:

“‘Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’  Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”  Eph 5:14-16

I wept because I realized that I have not made the most of my time.  When I look back over the years since God’s wake-up call on September 11, 2001, I lament the time that I wasted on trivial, meaningless things.  And I confess even as Daniel did:

“Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. ”  Dan 9:4-5

I can’t change the past, but I pray that God will enable me to finish well.  I want to please the One who enlisted me as a soldier.

Preparing for the Future

This renewed determination to serve God faithfully came on the same day I learned of a worldwide simulcast scheduled for September 11, 2011 (the 10th anniversary of 9/11) titled A Wake-Up Call to the Church.  The simulcast will include teaching from Anne Graham Lotz and Joel Rosenberg.  Even better, there will be an eight week Bible study following the simulcast to reinforce the message in churches around the world.  (For more information or to register as a host church for the simulcast, contact angelmin.info@angelministries.org or call 919-787-6606.)

I don’t think it was an accident that I had these back-to-back encounters today.  God is calling us to return to Him.  He is waking up His church.  Will you be part of that awakening?

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