14 years later (thoughts on 9/11)
It has been 14 years since the attack on the twin towers. I don’t think we could have guessed how much our society would change after that day. Our brutal expulsion from an age of innocence…at least for me. I remember staring at the TV in disbelief as the second plane hit. I thought “this has to be a movie or something.” But it wasn’t. I called everyone I knew who would be directly or indirectly affected. With each emotional phone call, the reality set in that EVERYONE was affected. Many men and women were lost that day and the American sense of safety and security that we convinced ourselves was impenetrable, was obliterated.
But as they say, The more things change the more they stay the same.
Since that day the whole world’s deeds and exploits have been a veritable scorecard of victories and defeats. It is only recently that I have realized this has been the way of things long before 9/11. I think what changed most for me that day was the realization that in each moment there is found a victory or a defeat. I hear people say all the time “Let’s make America great again!” This is usually encompassed in a political or socioeconomic rant. A nostalgic attack against the passage of time. I also hear people zealously quote 2 Chronicles 7:14
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.“
This is usually in reference to some former glory of religious dominance. When I hear these statements though, I wonder what people are really longing for? Do we ache to return to the 90’s with the Persian Gulf War and the terror of Saddam Hussein? Or maybe its the 80’s we desire with the emergence of AIDS, which at that time was completely un-treatable and 100% fatal. Is the healing of our land we picture in our minds reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s full of segregation, Civil Rights battles, the Vietnam War, and political leader assassinations. The 30’s and 40’s fared no better with The Great Depression, World War 1 and World War 2, the Holocaust, and daily racial lynchings. Perhaps we want the 1800’s, slavery, Civil War Native American genocide…
My point is this: Life has always been a balance of good and evil. Humanity’s ugliness is present in every decade. There is no point in longing and hoping for the past. Devastation and tragedy is found there too. We have to choose to move forward. Look ahead and decide, everyday, to be the good in the world. Strive to be the beauty in tomorrow. I believe that is how we keep the darkness at bay in our own hearts and the world around us. Let us never forget!