Waiting on 9-11


It’s a page turner, ain’t it?

Every day we write ourselves a book. Life is a book, unpredictable. Sometimes we get so anxious, wondering what’s going to happen next, we push it and try to skip forward to the end.

Nope, don’t do it. Wait. Read every page. Every page. Examine it. Ponder it. Reflect upon it. Tomorrow will be here soon enough. If it’s not here, then we won’t have to worry about it, will we?

You’ve done that before, right? Skipped the pages because you couldn’t wait to find out? I bet you had to go back and re-read so that you could understand what was going on.

Me too.

Every day is a new story with pertinent information that will help us understand tomorrow, so don’t go so fast. Reflect. If you skip the details and rush the end, you may miss the significance.

I have had a terrible time focusing the last couple of years. I haven’t been able to read anything but road signs. Sometimes I even miss them. I tried to explain my trouble to the cop who clocked me going 35 in a 15-mph speed zone.

Nobody told me that’s what the new sign meant. I should have paid attention to the details so I didn’t have to pay the triple-digit ticket.

I teach three dual-enrollment college classes. For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about remembering an event and creating a narrative.

My students lead the class, and one of them drew a diagram of a dramatic arc on the page. She explained the importance of providing the background details, setting the stage, adding the conflict, reaching a turning point and, finally, coming to a conclusion.

Those elements are the essence of life, each day. Each day is a brand new story.

But the main lesson I sought to teach my kiddos is that whatever they choose to write about, their story has to have the MAIN thing. That thing is significance.

All day long today on 9-11, I’ve been waiting for something to happen. My anxiety levels are at high alert.

I’m ready to turn the page, skip to the end.

I can’t. And it doesn’t matter anyway. I’m not in control of anything but myself. I can’t change anyone but me, and I can’t stop the world.

If I were to skip to the end, I would miss out on the details. I would miss out on how this page prepares me for the next. I would miss out on the significance.

I believe in serendipity, fortunate accidents, but I can’t predict them. I just have to deal with them when they happen.

I also believe everything happens for a reason and that all things work positively for those who love God and who are part of His plan.

It’s not up to us to change his plans. I do think we should be wise and reflective and think about what is happening in our lives. There’s a reason for it, you know, a purpose, leading up to something important.

Remember every story goes through a dramatic arc; every day is a story. What is the significance?

People are motivated by many things. Not to sound cliché, but I am motivated by one thing–love. Love is the significance of my life story. Even though I don’t understand why or how things happen–yet, I do know that I know love.

And no matter what happens today, 9-11, or any other day, I have known love.

But the story is NOT over yet. I’m not skipping pages. I will wait patiently so that when I get to the end I will understand all the details.

Today is 9-11. What emotions surged through your soul? Did you experience fear, regret, grief, relief, anxiety, etc? Why? What is happening in your life story? Reflect upon these questions. Please add a comment or two if you have time. I encourage you to write in your journal as documentation of your existence on this day in history. It’s always interesting to go back months or years later to see how you have changed.

“EMILY: “Does anyone ever realize life while they live it…every, every minute?”
STAGE MANAGER: “No. Saints and poets maybe…they do some.”

“Now there are some things we all know, but we don’t take’m out and look at’m very often. We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even the stars… everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings. All the greatest people ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you’d be surprised how people are always losing hold of it. There’s something way down deep that’s eternal about every human being.”
Our Town by Thornton Wilder

In life I know there is lots of grief / But your love is my relief. / Tears in my eyes burn, tears in my eyes burn / While I’m waiting, while I’m waiting for my turn.
“Waiting in Vain,” by Annie Lennox, featured in the movie Serendipity




10 thoughts on “Waiting on 9-11

  1. When i heard what happened I was angry and sad for the people, And i was numb for days until i heard In America by Charlie Daniels, I said a prayer today for the familes and all the Police. Firefighters and Ems lost,I might have said this before My brother in law Virgil was a Firefighter for 27 Years in Mattoon Ill, He retired a Captain< I was very proud of what he did, The USA is still the greatest country in the world God Bless You All and God Bless America P.S Sorry if i strayed abit,

    • I ALWAYS appreciate the fact that you take time to read. I remember the day it happened. I was in my classroom. Panic set foot inside our safe school building. I remember a teacher crying, almost screaming, that a plane was headed our way. I turned on the TV and watched the plane hit and smoke. But I also remember shortly after 9-11 a Greyhound bus being attacked in Coffee County. NOT A TERRORIST attack “they” said. I don’t believe “they” anymore. I am skeptical of mainstream media. I am skeptical of many things. I think we are mostly all innocent, unaware of the plots around us. We could be one step away from the end. We don’t know. That’s why it’s so important to do what you did today, Dennise. you prayed for the families. You remembered the people in your life who have served. You have an attitude of gratitude. 🙂 Thank you.

  2. I suppose September 11 was our “Kennedy moment” — an event so monumental that it is forever etched upon our souls. I was living in California. It was a Tuesday, and my lawn man told me. I rushed inside to turn on the news. It was about 8:30 am (CA is 2 hours earlier, so 10:30am here). I was speechless and horrified. Once in a blue moon, I will drink a beer to flush my kidneys. I decided, albeit not yet 9am, that it was beer time. I was glued to the TV till past midnight.

    I wanted to turn the page and skip ahead. I was certain that there were survivors in the rubble, and I wanted a “victory moment” with them emerging. Logic told me that people could not survive beneath tons of concrete; heart told me otherwise..

    I posted my tribute earlier today, “The Healing Years”. So much sorrow.. ‘Tis one of those days where time stood still… and I would expect that much of heaven did as well.

    • I suppose you are right. It is our Kennedy moment. I don’t know if we will ever be healed. I don’t know if anyone cares. I believe our society is about to change drastically. I want to live a “normal” life, but I that pretty soon there will be no such thing.

      • I thought about that, “normal” as I walked down my street today. The world is in chaos, and here I am just a strollin along like it’s national lolly pop day or something.
        I think we can only just do our best, pray often, appreciate simple pleasures, and most importantly TRUST GOD.

      • That’s true. I am more anxious today than I was yesterday. I’m not sure why. I’m not one who likes to give up control or to trust. I don’t like to admit that, but, yes, there is no alternative. We have to trust God.

  3. I’m a super-planner whose thoughts usually focus on some point in the future—how to prepare, how to step closer to a goal, how to meet an approaching challenge. It’s difficult to simply pause, look around, and be in the present. I’m striving for the optimum balance between the two. Planning ahead can make one’s present experience much more pleasant, but pausing to repose in the current chapter is important, too.

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