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Another perspective on September 11th

At 3:30 a.m. on the morning of September 11th, 2001, my wife's water broke. While this was a small surprise, we were expecting to experience the birth of our first and second kids that morning, as the doctor had scheduled a C-section for 7:00 a.m. So the fact that the kids had also decided that it was time to be born was simply confirmation that the time was right.

However, the last thing we expected to occur at the same time our kids were being born was our nation coming under attack. Yet that is exactly what happened. In fact, our arrival at the hospital at 4:00 only led to us going into a labor room. My wife began going through the excruciating painful contractions that accompany the birth of children, and she went through this for several hours. About 8:00 am Central time, a nurse came in and told us that a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center buildings. Like many people, we naturally thought it was an accident. We went into the delivery room and I got to meet Abby at 8:48 and Jacob at 8:50.

I was hit with enormous joy and the weight of an enormous responsibility. This is normal, and most likely happens with any new parent. One positive emotion is balanced by the more sobering one. What is not normal, however, is having the additional burden of wondering what kind of world I had brought these two innocents into.

In my over-the-top panicked state, I ran scenarios through my mind of our nation falling completely, and having to struggle just to keep my family alive in a post-nuclear, anything goes, Mad Max world. In hindsight, this is ridiculous, but I'll wager that many parents reading this can understand how those thoughts could make a brief appearance in one's head.

Once a couple of days passed and it became apparent that the world was not coming to an end (at least not quite yet), I began contemplating the timing of my kids' birth. Surely, thousands of kids were born that day. And many more the next day. Did it mean anything? Was there anything special about their birth? Did I have the next Moses or Deborah on my hands? Throw in the fact that the beginning date of the pregnancy, acocrding to the doctor, was December 22, 2000, which is the day my father took his own life. Now, it becomes apparent that this pregnancy is a blessed event bookended by tragedies. Is there a reason? Or was the timing of no significance?

Now that over 3 years have passed, I have to say that I have a bit more clarity in my thinking. If Jacob becomes as great as Moses, that will be a bonus, but it's not the main point. Ultimately, God's timing of the kids' birth wasn't about them, it was about Him. See, God has this thing about being center stage. And that's as it should be. In fact, the main message of the bible is that all of creation exists for His good pleasure.

Moreover, that day, Sept 11, 2001, was significant, not because of what 19 foolish men did, but because it was a day that God made. Let's look at this familiar verse:

Psalms 118:24

"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

That verse is worth meditating on, as it contains a powerful truth. God is so much bigger than any terrorist, bigger than any airplane or 110-story building. And every day, even Sept 11, is a special day, because He has made it. And we are called to rejoice and be glad in that day. And this day.

A suggested application of this truth is to begin every day by thanking Him for it. Why at the beginning? Because if you waited till the end of the day, you might be inclined to refrain from the praise and worship that He deserves, based on how good that day was for you. By rejoicing early in the day, you show your trust in Him; you make a statement that regardless of circumstances, He is Lord, and nothing will happen which takes Him by surprise.

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