Reaching Out Since 9/11
We’ve noticed that many people seem to want to form connections since the tragedy of September 11th last year. Even in everyday encounters when we’re running errands, people want to talk more. Folks have more time for each other, rather than the usual self-involved way we used to run around and do the ordinary, mundane chores of life.
The horrific events of September 11th have provided a wake-up call for many people in regard to the attitudes they have toward other people.
September 11th provided us with one lasting question: w hat types of people do we want to spend our valuable time with?
Marion: I’ve found that I can sense when someone has a vengeful streak in them, or has a bad attitude, or is simply unable to forgive others. I just no longer want to be around people like that. I’ve tried to become pretty forgiving in my life, but my resolve is more focused on this since September 11th. It’s difficult to be forgiving with folks around who are always harboring grudges.
Mike: I agree with Marion. Recently, I realized how much time I waste dealing with people who either are harboring a grudge against me, or who make me angry and more apt to hold a grudge against them. I look back now and wonder how much time that takes away from those I truly want to be with. Another aspect of this is how I spend my time rather than who I spend it with. Am I just vegging out in front of the television or the computer, or am I actually making a difference for myself or someone else? Am I taking care of myself—physically and mentally? Am I recharging my batteries or do I continue grinding away?
Marion: I’ve renewed some old friendships since September 11th too. My friend Dawn and I have become close after a period of separation. Our lives had been moving apart and now we’ve been drawn together again. I’m really happy about that. She’s someone who’s such a positive person, and she helps me to remember that I sometimes just need to relax and laugh. It seems like we’ve just picked up from where we left off—only now it’s a stronger bond.
Mike: I’ve really had more time to focus on my prayer-life. I’ve been doing some Christian Yoga (my instructor and Marion tease me about having a “yoga body” now), regular walking, and have set aside some time during the day for more traditional prayer. I’ve seen the value of prayer transform my attitude and renew my strength. I’m less irritated and more able to take on the challenges of the day because of it.
Both: And that’s the good news of September 11th. Faith provides us with the knowledge that God transforms us into something greater—for each other, ourselves, and those who cross our paths—even in the midst of something horrible. Suffering is certainly not a good thing, but it doesn’t have to be the end. After all, how much time do we have left? The message of September 11th for us is that we can’t succumb to suffering and evil in our lives. We need to do what we can with the time we have, because we know that life is indeed very precious.
And it’s still God’s greatest gift.