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Of course you remember where you were and what you were doing on September 11, 2001...who doesn't? Gut wrenching news followed by heart breaking images. The American illusion of safety shattered and the presence of evil realized. What is different about you since last year? If the events of that day haven't changed you in significant ways, you dishonor the memory of those who perished.
How have I changed? Bear with me as I share a few random transformations that have occurred over the preceding 365 days.
Actually I don't wear glasses at all...what I mean is that I see the world in a different way. We all have our 'lenses' through which we interpret our planet, and mine was radically altered that day. It used to be pretty easy to see most people as petty, proud, passionless and pent-up. Maybe some of us still are, but I am trying to see folks through the spectacles of the Spirit:
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)
Ever feel like there are so many things you want to do, but you just don't have the time? Friend, time is all you have. This past year I have looked at my watch not thinking about what is coming up, but rather about what opportunity I am possibly wasting.
It's the two extra minutes of conversation with a lonely friend, a second hug for loved ones, a thank you prayer to God for an amazing sunset, a phone call to someone you need to forgive...you get the idea. Now when I think about what time it is, I try to be very careful, then, how I live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
When I was a little kid in Sunday School, we used to sing a song called 'Oh Be Careful'. One of the verses went like this:
Oh be careful little feet, where you go
Oh be careful little feet, where you go
For the Father up above is looking
Down in love
So be careful little feet, where you go.
I thought that meant that I should avoid any and all places of temptation, and it probably does- but now to me it has an additional meaning as well. For most of us, our feet serve to take us where we can get our needs met. I go to the store because I'm hungry, to the bank because I need money, to the movies because I'm bored, to the gym so I can look like an American Idol- etc. etc.
Perhaps God gave us feet to be able to go places where we can help meet the needs of others. There are lonely, sick, imprisoned, and hungry people who go to the grave with the thought that nobody cared. We should be careful that our little feet don't just go places that are all about us.
"Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, `Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons! For I was hungry, and you didn't feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn't give me anything to drink. I was a stranger, and you didn't invite me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me no clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me.' (Matthew 25:41-43)
Is there something wrong with taking some time this week to remember, reflect, mourn, and grieve? Am I knocking lighting candles and turning on headlights?
Nah...I just want to challenge you to also use this anniversary as a reminder that life is a gift- so unwrap it and seize the day before it's gone!
Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.
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