Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Later

Hi everyone. It's September 11th today, and everywhere I turn, I see people remembering and sharing their stories about the fateful day five years ago.

My wife woke me up with the news that morning. I got up in time to watch the plane hit the second tower. As we watched, our eight month old daughter was lying on the floor. I remember thinking of her and how she'd never know the world without this event. I thought about recent major world events that happened before I was born, like the Kennedy assassination, or the Cuban Missle Crisis, or Pearl Harbor, or Hiroshima. I know that to those who were alive at the time, those were HUGE, life-changing events. But taken collectively, they all fall into the history books pretty smoothly because, well, we're still here.

I felt a sense of horror when I watched the people make the decision to burn or jump. And I realized that even though this would eventually fall into a history book, people were dying. Real people. And they wouldn't get to see those history books.

That night our church had a prayer service. I think it was as much to make us feel like we were doing something as anything else. I remember having a few conversations about Islam and how God could allow evil and so on.

Five years later, there are other concerns. There's still world unrest and plenty of seeming chaos. But the answer that was true in 2001 is true today:

God is in control.

He is not sleeping. And the pattern He is shaping in human history is not thrown off by crisis. No, He uses crisis to accomplish His purposes. We grieve for the people who died. People in the World Trade Center, people in Hiroshima, people in the concentration camps. And we think, "What an evil waste."

But the reality is that none of us knows when our time will be. Not one. Life is but a vapor, and today may be our day. Unfortunate timing is tragic. But death is universal. The bigger question is, "Are we ready?"

God is still in control, and we are still here. So we still have hope. He wants to reach us and He wants us to return to Him while there is still time for us.

One more thing I remember from that day five years ago: Preachers all over started going crazy about how this was a sign that Jesus was coming back. Left Behind fans got all nervous and excited. Well, I believe Jesus is coming back soon, and if that was a sign, then we're five years closer. In fact, every second brings us closer to His return. By the time you read this sentence, you're a couple seconds closer.

Now you're even closer....


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