This morning as I drove to work, I reflected on Sept. 11, 2001. I remember the day well, the pain, shock, confusion, fear, anger, sadness, and myriad other emotions that played across my consciousness that day.
As is often in my nature, I attempted to search for some sort of symbolism, looking for a lesson that I might be able to apply to my life.
Before I go any further, I am indeed aware that such an endeavor requires objectification, and can seem unfeeling and apathetic. But that is not my intent. Rather, I hope to draw from the event as many personal lessons as possible, knowing full well it does nothing to lessen the loss. Indeed, my deepest and most sincere condolences and prayers go out to those who lost family, friends, and loved ones on that dreadful day. While it was a heartrending day for our Nation, no one bore that pain more acutely than you.
I was inspired to hear these words from President Bush during today’s memorial services: “On a day when buildings fell, heroes rose”.
It is that point that I hope to emphasize.
Within each of our lives, often there are instances of unspeakable tragedy, times when we have been brought to our very knees. Sometimes we have brought these things upon ourselves through sin and transgression, sometimes we have done nothing to deserve them, but almost always they hit us in an unsuspecting moment, and often they can cause seemingly irreparable damage.
We wonder if we can ever continue, if life can even go on. The devastation, pain, heartache, and tragedy, at that moment, is so close to us that it blots out our vision and we cannot see past it.
We experienced this together 7 years ago, in a very real, tangible, and terrible way.
But go on we did… not weaker, but stronger. And though, even after cleaning up the rubble, we were left with a whole in the ground, we quickly began rebuilding. We cleaned up what we could, reviewed plans for beautiful new edifices, selected one and began building.
In our own lives, we must take the same approach. It’s easy, and normal, to allow catastrophic events that plague our past to cripple our future, but it must not be so.
If it is sin, we must repent and rebuild. If it is some other event over which we had no control or responsibility, we must embrace it as part of the divine planning of our lives, preparing us to be stronger, greater, more feeling, and more capable.
It is within our power to choose what we become, to choose how we respond, and to select from the options that are before us an edifice for our lives worthy of our future.
As that becomes the object of our focus, not the destruction, but creation, and as we involve the Lord in that creation, we heal faster, and the building we create will have the distinctive reflections of divinity, and inspired architecture of eternity.
Though the buildings of your life may fall, a hero will rise. You.