Monday, September 12, 2011

Reflections on a Visit to a 9/11 Memorial

Reflections From a Visit to a 9/11 Memorial
By Dr. Dave Johnson
Assemblies of God Missionary to the Philippines

What would they have written about me?  Or you?  On the evening of September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, my nephew, Tim, and I visited a memorial of that horrible day at the Cannonsburg Ski Area, just north of Grand Rapids, Michigan, my hometown.  The skiing hill hosted 3,200 American flags, one for every person killed on that disaster.  As we walked among the flags, we noticed that many of them had a card attached, giving the name and bio-data of someone who was killed on that day.  The bio-data also included where they worked, things about which they were passionate, or, if they were young, what they looked forward to in the future.

Those cards reminded me that those who died were real people, with real jobs, real interests, and real dreams.  They were just ordinary people going about life. Lives that were cut short like a movie that breaks in the middle of the plot leaving only a freeze frame of the last scene on the screen.  Theirs were lives that, humanly speaking, were unfinished.  Naturally questions arose in my mind of how a good God could allow such unspeakable horror, an issue that even the Reverend Billy Graham mentioned in his remarks at the memorial service at the National Cathedral just a few days later. He didn’t have the answer, and neither do I.

But the memorial did cause me to stop and ponder the reality that no one knows how long they will live.  We may live a full life, but we may not.  And Hebrews 9:27 is clear that we don’t get a second chance.  What we do have, however, is the opportunity to live today.  From my perspective, the question that must be raised is how should we live? Many would answer this question by saying, like the old beer commercial, “You only go around once in life, go for the gusto.” While I certainly agree that life should be lived to the fullest, the question then, is, for whom do I live or to what goal or purpose? The answer to this question depends on one’s worldview.  If I have only one life to live and no guarantee as to how long that life will be, the thought of living only for me leaves me feeling cold.

I have two choices that I can make everyday.  Will I live for myself or for God?  Will I be hell bent or heaven bound? Will I be selfish or selfless?  Will it be my path or God’s way?  My dreams or his? And if I should suddenly die or be killed, what will others write about me?  Or you?

PLEASE NOTE: Permission is hereby given to forward, print, and post this blog as long as it is done as a complete blog, and its authorship is acknowledged. Thank you for your cooperation.  For automatic notification of future blogs please visit and click on “follow.”

Copyright 2011 Dr. Dave Johnson 


No comments:

Post a Comment