By: Jennifer J. Miller
As I caught a glance at the calendar at a then upcoming date, it hit me like a ton of bricks. On September 11, 2001, tragedy struck our nation, and we were under attack. It was a day that is now a part of our memories, or is it? Have we forgotten what happened that day and the lesson that was being taught? I fear there are those who may have pushed the memory far aside and went back to business as usual. Allow me to further expound on this claim.
Whether you are an individual, a couple, a member of a family or community, or a citizen of this nation, lessons are a part of life. We all experience them and hopefully we learn from them. Failure to learn can result in repeat lessons which can turn into vicious cycles.
For example, take the Israelites and the mass exodus from Egypt. They had been in bondage for over four hundred years and a deliverer was sent to free them. At first, they were overjoyed because their prayers were answered, but soon afterwards they became ungrateful and forgot the miracle God had not only shown them, but that they experienced firsthand. They went back to their old ways and settled in. They entered the wilderness in which the goal was to get to the land that God had promised them, but they did not want to leave the wilderness. Many were rebellious and I am sure afraid of what lies ahead. They complained and they became disobedient to God. When we refuse to budge, we must suffer the consequences of that inaction. An issue of pride perhaps?
Haven’t we all been there? We get comfortable in our situation and then when we need to apply effort to make a change for the better, we lose hope and give up. Yet we want all that the change offers us, but just do not ask us to work for it, incur the obstacles to achieving it, or appreciate the opportunity that change will bring. So, we put the change aside and the promise becomes an afterthought. We go back to being complacent, re-direct our thoughts, and set out on a path designed by our own desires. We no longer honor and obey, but instead we fight and overtake each other out of this desire to satisfy our own selfish needs. We forget the miracle or opportunity and have no desire to pursue what it offers, so we move on, discard the lesson, and fail to pass on the message of that lesson. Friends, this is a pattern that we are determined to continue and refuse to break. Is it any wonder why God’s wrath has been raised?
Why do we do this? I can only speak for myself, but it is time to shift our focus onto God and no one else. We need to break this vicious cycle. How do we begin? We make an attitude adjustment. Lessons are meant to correct us and teach us. Sit down, take note, and heed wisdom.
Look at the situation as if you were not a part of it. Identify the problem and seek counsel regarding it. Take it to the Lord. Ask what He wants to reveal to you and then wait for the answer. Make note of each trial and see what fruit comes out of it. This is also good advice that may give you a means of helping another that goes through something similar. When we document something, we have validity (a paper trail) to show ourselves and others proof of what happened and what resulted from it. This becomes a teaching tool that we can offer others and prevent future occurrences.
The Israelites failed to learn the lesson taught and what happened? They strayed, got into a problematic situation, cried out for help, God answered and rescued them, and they stayed stable for a bit and again strayed. Rinse and repeat became their motto.
Now let us look at the situation on 9-11. We were under attack and caught off guard to handle such a catastrophe. I am not going to delve into the details too much except to say we were unprepared. At the time of the incident, we seemed to pull together and tried to get a solid footing as answers. It was a harrowing experience to go through, but we had to seek the avenue of justice and eventually obtain closure. People helped one another, sacrificing their time and energy trying to save lives. We learned to rely on one another and to work together to maintain the calm of the nation. We communicated again with one another!
We started off good and dedicated ourselves to dealing with this crisis, but we started to slip away from that initial response. We strove to protect one another from potential future attempts, but as the years moved on, so did we. We got comfortable again and only mentioned this date in remembrance on the anniversary each year. We drifted away from one another and put this tragedy on a shelf to collect dust. In short, we gave up. We settled for a lack of explanation as to what really happened and who all were involved in this act of terror. So, let me ask you what was learned from this lesson and why did we so easily walk away from it?
When God teaches us a lesson it serves many purposes and I am quite sure He wants us to listen, to heed wisdom and then to act on it. If we sit on this and do nothing what was the purpose of us responding at all?
God wants us to be obedient, but He wants us to be able to confront the obstacles at hand and stand up. We need to risk everything to make sure that the needs of others are met. We are answerable to Him alone! We should seek to obey Him out of our deep respect for Him. We serve Him and not the other way around. Our rebellion causes His wrath to incur against us. The Israelites would not listen, we need to change our position on that right now. Be willing to listen when He speaks or accept the issues, problems, and obstacles to continue.
I do not want the future generations to keep this pattern of disobedience continuing. I want this to break the cycle and maintain a close relationship with Our Father. But the older generations need to discuss God and filter Him into their life. We need to warn the future generations and remind them to always remember whence they came. When we forget we stray and go our own way. For all the future generations to heed this and follow the way of our Lord. God will always emphasize a point for us to understand and learn. Note how often He tells us to repent and confess. Also note how often we just do not listen. He is forgiving and gracious and still holds out His right hand and is ready to forgive. Pretty amazing! After all we have failed to do, He is ready to forgive. Take Him up on that. Lesson pointed out and I hope lesson learned or the next one may be our last one. God bless.