Do Not Tire, Falter, or Fail
Posted by Rev. Jeff Dixon on Sep 10, 2010, 11:12
September 11, 2001, will be forever frozen in our memories. Where we were; what we thought; what we felt; what we heard; and especially what we saw will stay with us for the rest of our lives. If I were to ask you where you were and what you were doing when you first heard about the events unfolding in this country on that day you would remember. In many ways it has become a defining moment for our nation. By remembering where we were when we first heard we capture a bridging nanosecond, between life before and life after.
The images and stories of that day are still fresh in my mind. I remember staring at the television with slack jawed amazement as the second plane hit the second World Trade Center Tower. I remember the account shared by a reporter that was saved by a member of the New York City Fire Department. With debris raining down in all directions, this firefighter pressed her against a wall, attempting to keep her out of harms way. She could feel his heart beating against her back. She had been sure that she would die. She did not.
I remember seeing the pictures of the doctors and nurses assembled outside of the Saint Vincent’s Medical Center waiting to help those injured. The injured never really arrived.
I remember hearing New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani say that we were looking at a “tremendous loss” of life-“More,” as he put it, “than we can bear.”
The images of the Pentagon in Washington, the images of smoke rising from a Pennsylvania field, and the chaos that gave way to a rise of patriotism are things that will always be remembered. A long time ago, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote; “Time flies over us, but leaves it shadows behind.” It is safe to say that years later we live in the shadow of September 11, 2001.
As I was remembering that time recently I recalled the words of a man who seemed to climb to the top of the rubble and had a voice when others were speechless. He said, “We will not tire, we will not falter, we will not fail…..” of course those were the words spoken by President George W. Bush.
We as a nation needed a leader in that moment. It really didn't matter who you voted for. . .right then we needed someone to step up. I think at times we forget that our leaders were just like the rest of us Americans. . .overwhelmed, heart broken, and perhaps a bit afraid.
Time is kind of funny. The more that time passes the more disconnected we become from the moments that helped to define us - or - moments that we should have allowed to define us. Today you can turn on the television and watch nonstop blabbering from pundits and politicians who pontificate and ultimately trivialize the attack on America and the blatant disregard for human life. It is sickening in some ways to watch and hear how the politics of personal preference become the guiding compass in the lives of so many. We live in an era where we need leaders and statesmen to emerge. The ego bus is full of politicians and they just don't have that much to say.
But this year once again as we approach September 11th, I still remember. . .
I remember the resurgence of people who flocked back to churches across the country.
Frightened, fearful, and needing comfort, they wanted…desperately needed to hear someone convince them that God was still in control. But like so many other things in life, time passes, the shadow dims, and the memory does not change us.
For most people life has gone back to normal. People have gotten caught up in the everyday pressures of living. It is tough right now. But as tough as it is, Americans enjoy the blessing of living in the greatest place on earth.
We have had to rediscover that freedom comes at a high price and sometimes people argue about how important it really is. The fact the we have still have the freedom to argue about it should end the arguments, but it doesn’t.
As September 11th comes to life in our minds and hearts again I want to challenge you for a moment on a personal level. When you think back to that defining moment in September you probably spent some time talking with God, evaluating your life, your relationship with the Heavenly Father and others. Did the promises you made that day stick or were they Teflon promises that slid into the busy battle of everyday living?
Did you grow tired….have you faltered…have you failed to live up to the promises you made to God during that dark time?
Before you start feeling too guilty, you must understand that promises that are made in crisis often are forgotten when times get better. But you must also remember that God allows dark times and struggles to come along so that we might grow closer to Him. In your journey of faith let me encourage you…. don’t tire…don’t falter…don’t fail! Stay on course and keep your eyes focused on Him.
Here are two resources that are available for you to watch and hear on our website that will help you look back with some perspective on September 11th.
A Defining Moment: A personal worship experience
Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning? The song written by Alan Jackson.
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