I can remember growing up and hearing the older adults in my family talk about remembering all the details of the day when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Many years had passed since that day. Many new memories had logged a place in their minds. The events of that day though were still crystal clear.
I always wondered if there would be something that would etch a picture in my mind and last for the rest of my life. 11 years ago today, it happened. The day, as Alan Jackson sang about, “when the world stopped turning.”
I can remember many of the details of that day. I remember being woke up by a phone call from a friend who asked what I was doing. I politely told him that I was sleeping because of the late night of work the night before. I remember turning on the TV to see the second plane hit the World Trade Center towers. I remembered the puzzled and helpless feeling in that moment when I realized that our country had been attacked.
Today, I think about that day and some of the lessons I learned from it.
- Don’t be caught asleep. I can remember Jesus telling these words to His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane just moments before He was betrayed. When we are asleep at the wheel and feel like nothing can happen to us, that’s when the bomb is dropped on us.
- Don’t wait to tell your loved ones you love them. How many on September 11, 2001 had wished that they had simply said those three little words to the ones that meant the most to them. God gives us each day and we need to make the most of each one He gives us. Tell your loved ones what they mean to you every chance you get, because when they’re gone, you can’t.
- People look to God in times of desperation. I remember that Sunday, September 16, 2001 was a high attendance day in many churches across the USA. People flocked to the one place they thought had answers. When our world comes crashing down around us and everything we think was so stable crumbles, we are faced with the reality that the only sure, stable thing in the universe is the Sovereign God who loves us so.
Take a moment today to remember those who lost loved ones on this day 11 years ago. Say a prayer for those families. Never forget the lessons you’ve learned in life.