Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day? Alan Jackson.
Many of you were probably on your way to work, or taking your kids to school. Some of you could have been just rolling out of bed or eating breakfast. And others were getting a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or finishing up your morning workout. The world was going on as usual until the worst terrorist attack in history occurred.
On September 11, 2001 I was a senior at Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin, driving from my off-campus apartment to my first hour class when the local radio station was interrupted with breaking news. I was shocked when I heard that an airplane struck the World Trade Center, but didn’t think anything of it. Shortly after, when I heard that a second plane had just struck the other tower of the World Trade Center, I knew immediately that something big was going down. As soon as I arrived at campus and entered the building, there was an eerie silence. No one was in the halls. I passed a lounge and noticed the amount of people gathered around the television. With the volume turned up and the news being shown, no one said a word. Everyone was in a state of shock. I, too, found my way to the television and watched in silence as the horrific event unfolded before our eyes.
Where were you on that day? Were you scared, confused, or angry? Did you want immediate retaliation and revenge? Or were you forgiving? That moment in history changed our country at the time for the better. We left our differences and divisions in religion, race, and politics behind. We put others first and lent a hand when it was needed. More people started reading the Bible again, going to church, and bringing God back into their lives. We became united as one nation, under God again. Yes, it was a country that was grieving and hurting, but brought us together.
Although it was such a horrific event, I long for that day when families, friends, and community can all become close again. God does work His good in everything. Since that day sixteen years ago, our nation has once again become divided. Sin has been running rampant among households and the streets. Violence has overtaken the hearts and minds of many people. I know this from experience with the overcrowding and addition of prisons across the United States. This is not what God wants!
Ephesians 4:32 says it best: “Be kind and compassion to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you.” Are you forgiving those who have wronged you? God wants us to bring Him back into our lives and back into our nation again. It shouldn’t take a catastrophic event to make this happen. September 11, 2001 is a day that we’ll never forget. It’s a reminder of how evil this world can be. But it also should be a reminder that we need God in our lives, from this day forward. Don’t wait. Bring Him back into your life today and go make a difference in our nation and in your sphere of influence.