Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Fear of September 11th

Today is the seven year anniversary of the horrible terrorist attack on the United States that took the life of so many innocent American citizens. As I think back to that day there is one word that explains what I felt that day: fear. I can vividly recall the events in my own personal life that occurred that day. My life was going great. I was preparing to finish my last semester at Faulkner University and had just been accepted into law school. Joy and I had our first son just three months before and things seemed to be going really well. I felt like I was on top of the world. Joy had already left for the day and I was getting myself ready for school and Ethan ready to go to daycare. As was my custom, I had Fox & Friends on the television and was listening when I heard them speaking of a plane crashing in the World Trade Center. I stopped what I was doing and went and looked at the television to see the extent. I remember they were discussing the fact that it was some amateur pilot in a little plane and how this was simply "an accident." Then it hit. Right in front of my eyes, on live television, I watched as a passenger airline slammed into the other tower. My jaw dropped and I picked Ethan up and held him as tight as I could. I can still remember the silence on the television as even the reporters were left momentarily speechless. What happened the rest of that day in New York City, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania has been well documented and still causes me to cringe at the simple thought. I sat and watched these events unfold live on television that day. I skipped school and wanted nothing more than for my wife to come home so we could be together as a family.
The fear I felt that day was a feeling I did not remember at the time. I felt paralyzed. Here I was holding this beautiful three month old baby boy in a world that had just fallen apart in front of my eyes. I was literally waiting for terrorists to kick down my door. I was that uncertain about what was going on. I, as I am sure many Americans did, prayed throughout the day for peace, reassurance, and to wake up from what I had just seen. The only comparable fear I have ever faced in my life prior to and since that day is the fear I used to feel as a child when I would try to imagine not only eternity, but eternity in hell. I never want to feel those feelings again and when I think to how I lean on God for understanding and courage today as opposed to then I believe that my reaction to those events would be totally different.
Since that time I have made a firm commitment to Christ my King. It is not a commitment in word only, but one in heart and deed. It is not a commitment to Christ to simply sure up my own salvation, it is one to serve Him so that others can learn to not fear the evil of this world as well. It is a commitment to pray that Christ will not destroy our enemies but will touch their heart and use them in the service I am in. It is a commitment that tells me that even when I lose battles daily I need not fear Christ's wrath as long as I confess my sins and work to do better. It is a commitment to serve Jesus Christ, love Jesus Christ, and remain dead unto myself and wants for Christ. I write that knowing that this proclamation can bring on tests of my resolve (Hebrews 1:2,3). I welcome them as I want to be the example, succeed or fail, that Christ chooses to make. I no longer feel the fear that I felt on 9/11, but rather the courage, commitment, and spirit of service that only Christ and the Holy Spirit can provide. I think back to great men of God such as Isaiah, Moses, and Jeremiah and the documented fears and self-perceived short comings that they felt. Then I read the words that God speaks to them and how he removed their fear. God has done the same for me. God has removed the fear of this world full of terrorists, murderers, spite, and persecution and has replaced it with a fire for Him and His work. I was baptized years before 9/11/01 and I ask God to forgive me for being afraid on that day that he would not care for my family and I. Christ has washed that sin away and I am no longer afraid. Are you?

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