Looking at the date today gives me pause. The date can’t be normal because of what happened eleven years ago today when everything changed. Dark and scary. Not just for those immediately affected, not just those of us close geographically to the Towers, but everyone on the planet was changed. That’s what significant events do, they are significant because they change things.
Not too many millennia ago, Jesus was walking around on this same planet. To most observers at the time, life was normal. Not much perceptively changed. As the time for Jesus’ -end of life, then resurrection- neared, more and more people began to notice. Miracles occurred. Really great ones. (I suppose every miracle is a great one!) It occurs to me that the encounters with Jesus were not just for the immediate benefit of the recipient, (i.e., Lazarus, the woman at the well, Nicodemus, Judas, Peter, and John, etc.). The gifts received from Jesus changed everyone who even heard about others witnessings to life-changing effects of after meeting Jesus. (Think about the prayer Jesus prayed recorded in John 17.) In real life, important things change things.
To put it another way; that meeting you had this morning? If nothing changed as a result, that meeting likely wasn't significant. How about church last week. Notice anything change around you, in you, to you? No? Well, no change, no significance. Jesus changed the planet forever. When I think about that magnitude of change, I look at some of the meetings I've attended I really start to wonder why. If it doesn't bring about meaningful change, there's work to be done.
We realize that big events like 9/11 change everything. But we should not forget that though obvious, huge events, get noticed, smaller scale change is not insignificant, either. The point is that all change is worth noticing, maybe celebrating.
When you are ready and embrace change and grow as a person, you magnify the possibilities that God will change not only your life, but the lives of those you meet, and the lives those persons meet, affecting still others, rippling out, on and on. We are part of that chain of possibilities as a gift to what ripples down the line, possibilities of what yet could be.
On 9-11, things went dark, but some very cool things have occurred since then, too. What do you understand more completely now than you did 11 years ago? How has technology changed your connections? How have you changed as a person? Think about your kids. Your family. Growth? Change? Think about the experiences that shaped and contributed to who you are today. We have come a long way since 9-11, 11 years ago today.
In every respect we are different, and our memories of the past alone will do little to affect meaningful change in the future. What will affect the future is to take responsiblity for your giftedness. Recognize God’s presence not only in your life, not only in the church, but in the world. See the opportunities to participate in God’s preferred future emerging each day.
I don’t know what tomorrow has in store, but I do know that the possibilities for transformation, growth, significant change, are ours to embrace.
Significant change will require a significant investment. Eleven years from now, what do you wish you did today?