Thoughts On 9/11

It is one of those events that you will never forget if you were alive when it happened. My parents talked about the day Kennedy was assassinated. Grandparents talked about the day Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. And we remember when the Twin Towers fell, the Pentagon was stuck and another plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. We will always remember what we were doing when we heard about it. I was in my car scanning the radio. I first heard it when the dial fell on the Howard Stern show. I thought it was a skit or prank. I went to the news channel and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I went straight home. My parents had the TV on and we saw the second one fall. We just couldn’t fathom it. And now It is hard to believe that was 20 years ago.
What can we reflect on biblically when looking back on such a horrific event? What does God have to say to us for something like this? There are many theological points to look at; there is sin and evil in the world, there are false religions that don’t just disagree with us but are wanting to kill us, ideas have consequences, there were many examples of sacrificial love during and after and so much more. But where I want to focus our attention is that life is short and we will die without notice. With that we need to not waste our life.
Jesus was asked about some people dying suddenly and unjustly. Look closely as to how He responds: “There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. [2] And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? [3] No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. [4] Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? [5] No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1–5) When we see death it is supposed to be a life lesson. The dying of someone we know is supposed to remind us that our life will end. That we need to be ready for when it comes. We need to not make the mistake so many others do assuming we have a lot of time left. Tomorrow is no guarantee.
How many of us went to bed on September 10th like it was any other day? How many of us would ever have thought we would be attacked? If you would have asked yourself the day before how safe you felt, how would you have answered? How many of the workers at the Towers and the Pentagon went into their workspace realizing it was their last day to live? How many firefighters, EMTs, police officers and other first responders ever thought that this would be the last call they would go out on? It comes so suddenly and when you least expect it. The Bible teaches us that our life is short. That we don’t die on our own terms. That it will come when we least expect it. And the events on 9/11 are a testament to that.
While the chance of something exactly like that happening to us is slim, we still must see heed the Bible’s message. Our death will happen when you are not ready. Death is never convenient. My family has had three funerals within the last month. The ages of the deceased were 64, 55, and 18. Not exactly dying at 99 peacefully in your sleep. But we naturally assume tomorrow will be there. What God wants us to realize is that we must be ready. Because one day we will not have a tomorrow. We will never know when our last breath will be. We should not waste our life assuming we have more time because we don’t really know. Are you living for Him? Taking advantage of the time you have been blessed with? Or are you wasting your life?
“God created me—and you—to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion—namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. Remember, you have one life. That’s all. You were made for God. Don’t waste it.” John Piper

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