God is Great, Even After 9/11

Average Us exists simply to affirm that God is great, even when life isn’t. On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I think that statement bears repeating, and perhaps, explanation.

You probably remember where you were, what you were doing, how time stopped that day.

It was a Tuesday

I was running late for work and just pulling into the parking lot when I heard the first, “what just happened?” report on WSB AM750. I remember the shocking images. I remember the eery silence of the skies, and the startling sound of a plane three days later. I remember the huge crowds on Sunday morning, September 16th, coming to hear the most anticipated sermon since the assassination of JFK.

I must’ve seen those towers crumble a hundred times while the dust cloud enveloped the city. But, I think the smoke and dust reached further and choked more than just Manhattan, and Washington, and rural Pennsylvania that day.

America is different now. The world is different, and yet…

Life goes on

For most of us it’s been ten years of average life – an unpredictable mix of good and bad – that 9/11 weighs upon, but doesn’t crush. Like a pinch of alum in a bland dish, 9/11 flavors our average lives with bitter, but without overpowering it. For most of us, the smoke and dust have cleared.

Why?

Because God is great, even when life isn’t.

The world and it’s people are broken, and God remains the one constant, dependable source of hope and renewal we have. Even if you don’t believe in God, you know instinctively that life is infused with new possibilities with each sunrise – some good, some bad – but all to persuade you that you were designed for something better.

Sunrise at the Len Foote Hike Inn, September 11, 2011

Sunrise at the Len Foote Hike Inn, September 11, 2011

This past weekend, I spent my time tearing up and being inspired by an article about a NYC firefighter who gave his life running to the rescue on 9/11. Next day I braved a twenty mile run with a friend, then enjoyed a beautiful hike in the Georgia mountains with Dawn. On 9/11 we felt the unearthly peace that a mountain sunrise can evoke. But, we also shared the sorrow of our U.S. Marine Corps son who observed, “We’ve been at war half of my life, and everyone here has lost a buddy.”

Lon and Dawn at the Len Foote Hike Inn, September 11, 2011

Lon and Dawn at the Len Foote Hike Inn, September 11, 2011

For better or worse, this mix of life is the life God has given us.

And There’s a message in it

The fact of the good and the bad should be enough to drive us to do some good for people while we can. It should be enough to convince us that God alone is great. It should be enough to make us hope and pray for another, better life. It should be enough to inspire us to seek the God who gave us life – the God who gave us Himself in an extraordinary life and death 2,000 years ago.

But will it?

The Son is the image of the invisible God…for God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things…through his blood, shed on the cross. – The Apostle Paul (Colossians 1:15-20)


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