…I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands… (Psalm 31:14 & 15a NIV)
Yesterday marked the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Floods of memories sweep over me each September 11th. Events of that day are etched deeply in my memory.
There seemed to be nothing extraordinary about that morning. One Tuesday each month I’d fly to Seattle for a two-day business trip. This was one of those Tuesdays.
Another ordinary day.
Another ordinary business trip!
Or, perhaps not…
As fellow travelers and I stepped onto the ramp to board our plane, we watched the television, tuned in to CNN, as the second tower of the World Trade Center crumbled to the ground. What in the world is going on? We wondered.
That ordinary Tuesday became a 21st Century day, which, like the day Pearl Harbor was bombed, would live in infamy.
We sat on the plane for over an hour. Flight attendants served us beverages. Smart phones with internet access weren’t common then, and I listened as passengers sitting nearby speculated about the delay and what had happened almost 3,000 miles away.
Finally, the captain made the announcement. Our flight to Seattle was cancelled.
Immediately, I called my supervisor and told her I wouldn’t make it to the meeting. She told me the meeting was cancelled, and I didn’t need to return to the office. She explained there was talk what happened in New York City was a terrorist attack. Loyal employee that I was, I assured my boss I’d go back to the office where plenty of work awaited.
Preparing to enter the freeway in order to return to work, I listened to the radio. It was then I learned all flights in the United States were grounded. Planes had flown not only into the two World Trade Center towers but also into the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.
There was now no doubt, the news anchor reported. These were acts of terror.
And, there was now no doubt in my mind. I wasn’t returning to work. During this day, filled with greater concerns about national security than I’d experienced in my lifetime, I needed to be home close to my family.
All the way home, I prayed. Even more than I needed my family that Tuesday morning, I needed my God. No matter what may happen in our nation, I knew faith would be my anchor.
It’s amazing how an ordinary day is redefined so quickly!
I’m grateful most days are ordinary. I like the comfort and predictability of ordinary. But, if too many of my days are merely ordinary, I can become lulled into complacency. I can lose sight of what really, truly matters.
I can stop appreciating what makes ordinary possible.
September 11th clarified for me some extraordinary truths I’m prone to overlook when ordinary becomes overly comfortable.
Freedom is fragile.
Faith is foundational.
Family is precious.
Friends and community are priceless.
There’s nothing ordinary about a South African sunset!
Prayer: This morning, Lord, I thank you for ordinary days. Thank you for the gifts you give so generously. Forgive me for so often taking for granted:
Friends and community.
Remind me each day to value my freedom; share my faith; cherish my family; and treat friends and the community in which you’ve placed me with respect and generosity.
My prayer for every reader is that you might catch a glimpse of an extraordinary God in each ordinary day…