. . . and still I remember exactly where I stood the moment I heard about it. I walked into my dorm after my 9:30am class, I had about 45 minutes of down time before I would head to lunch. All these girls were standing there, watching the news. I thought, "Since when have I ever seen any of these people watching the news? They can't be watching the news!" Seriously, how often does a large group of freshman girls gather in front of the news in the morning?! Then I heard those awful words, ". . . the Pentagon was hit too." Now I thought they were watching a movie. This just could not be real. In a daze I made my way back to my room and called my Mom, of course, Mom knew what was going on. And then I knew. I remember that entire day in excrutiating detail. Every moment of it. Down to the fact that I skipped math class. I remember the next few days. I cried in the supper line in front of this guy I had a crush on (this was before Craig and I were dating) because my friends promised me that they would take me with them to give blood and then they left me behind. I wanted so badly to help the people in New York, but I had no car at the time and Hillsdale is woefully without a busing system.
Yes, I remember it all. And here we are now. Four years later.
What have we to say for ourselves? Osama Bin Laden still lives. Acts of terrorism in numerous places have occurred with increasing frequency. Some of our state governments have no clue how to deal with emergencies and do not call the Feds in before it's too late. The media screams it's anger at Bush and his approval ratings keep falling nad rising. As if any of it matters.
I often wonder about things like this. When any leader messes up, even a tiny bit, his or her enemies go into conyptions. In fits of glee they tell the world about whatever new problem he or she now has. It goes on and on like that. Then the public all have an opinion and it's one of two things a) they hate the leader because he/she is "stupid," or b) the liberal/conservative media is out to get the leader! As a Christian, I believe that both those attitudes are wrong. I propose a different plan of action.
Pause for a moment, think to yourself. Who put that leader where he or she is now? According to that one chapter in Romans it was God who did that. So, what should we do? I suppose you think that I am going to say "obey without thinking." Hah! You're wrong. We should pray for that leader. I will not say ruler, because we do not have rulers, we are our own rulers here. But we do have leaders. Why are we always more ready to hate our leaders, cry out against them, criticize them, discourage them, explain why we hate them, tell people why we disagree with them, get our opinions out there, then we are to pray for them?
We cannot do anything to that leader with our opinion, it is not a bullet as much as we would like to believe it is. But God answers prayer as he sees fit. The most important thing about prayer, however, is that God uses it to teach us things. Who knows how your perspective on a given situation will change if you start praying for the person who upsets you? We do not pray to force God's hand, His will is already chosen and in motion. We pray because God asked us to pray, because we receive from Him during prayer, and for a many other reasons that I am incapable of explaining.
After four years, you would think much had changed in the global arena surrounding terrorism, wouldn't you? Only if you are used to instant responses to everything, you would. Neither you nor I can see the hand of God at work. Not a one of us can foresee what will happen within the next moment. Who are we to tell the Almighty when it is time for a change in something? We can do nothing, save through God's grace. Then we can discern what is right or wrong, and learn how to make a difference. But the first difference ought to be made within our own hearts.
Four years ago I was horrified by the attack upon my country. Four years ago I wept in public because my people had died for no reason other than the hatred displayed toward us by a godless person. And today I realize that if those in control of our country and many other countries were to deal with this terrible threat appropriately, it will only be through the grace of God. And for that we must pray.