This morning is the tenth anniversary of a day that we all recall in shock, disbelief, awe and even hope. It was the day when concrete and steel crumbled. It was the day when terror entered our lives. It was the day when a life of illusion came tumbling down. But it was also a day in which something truly divine took place. While the concrete and steel was on fire we witnessed unbelievable acts of heroism, self-sacrifice and a sense that the world is about more than getting, collecting, and “looking out for number one.”
What about you? What were you doing that morning? I recall that day vividly! I ran up to the school where my wife was teaching sixth grade and we all watched the news together. I recall trying to protect my two little girls from the ugliness of it all. I recall attending a prayer vigil that evening at Southside to pray, cry and heal. I recall the sense of anger, yes anger, that swept over me at the senselessness of it all. Yes I can even feel it still
But a lot has happened in the ten years since “9-11.” New presidents. New Congresses. New lives. People dying. People being born. The question that forces itself upon is “What has changed in our lives since the illusion crumbled?”
September 11 revealed and continues to reveal what really matters in this life. The illusion continues to claim to be real. Put your hope in stocks, bonds, money, … concrete and steel. But we all know that those things simply pale in significance to love, caring for our neighbor, recognizing our sense of togetherness, redeeming the moment we have with our loved ones. September 11 crashed the illusion that we call the shots, that we are in control, and that we determine our own destiny. On that day everyone knew it was time to pray and to lend a helping hand because it truly is not about looking out for ourselves.
On this day in which we will relive those events again lets not forget that life has moved on since then. Ask questions like: how has my life moved from the life of illusion to truly important matters? How has my life become more concerned about helping and sharing and less concerned with concrete and steel? Have we moved from the illusion that we still are in control and embraced true security by leaning on the One truly in control.
My life has changed in drastic ways since September 11, 2001. If you are like me you need constant reminders that the “Gospel of the World” is nothing but pure and even painful illusion. On this day remember the Gospel of Jesus Christ that gives hope, meaning, stability and courage in the face crumbling illusions.