16 years ago today our world changed. You will read about it one day on your history e-tablets. It is one of those days that most people know where they were when they heard the news about the attacks on the United States. I certainly do (Elmo’s restaurant in Durham with a friend). I remember asking the question, “What in the world is going on?” as we heard the news about the Twin Towers, and the Pentagon, and Flight 93.
There are lots of ways that the world changed that day but there are many things that stayed the same. For instance…
1) People seem to be at their best when life is at it’s worst – There are so many heroic stories that came out of 911. Nobody wants to see tragedies happen but they have a way of awakening within us the imago dei in such a way that people act the way that they were created to act. It is one of the ways that God brings good out of what was meant for evil. You have been created in the image of God and wants to use you also in a heroic fashion – just be on the lookout for the opportunities that will often be disguised as adversity.
2) Tragedies have a way of compelling people to ask theological questions – Such as “Where was God?”, “Why didn’t God answer my prayers?”, and “If God is good and loving why do bad things happen?” – As you grow up you are going to have lots of opportunities to help answer these questions for people you know who are dealing with crisis. People are searching for good answers, not glib answers, because most people want to know that life is NOT just a matter of crazy, chaotic randomness. There are good answers to these kinds of questions. There is great hope when life seems hopeless. Prepare yourself to “give an answer to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15)
3) America is a great country – You have been born into the greatest country in the world. You had absolutely nothing to do with where you were born but, trust me, your life would be completely different if you had been born just about anywhere else. I tell you this to help you understand that you are indeed greatly blessed – and you have been greatly blessed in order to be a great blessing. Whenever you get around to reading this take a minute and pray and 1) thank God for giving you such a great country to grow up in, and 2) ask God who you can be a blessing to today.
And never ever forget that you are very loved,