Yesterday Nancy and I took a day off for a trip I’ve wanted to do for a while now, we went to Shanksville. Ten years ago as you know, Flight 93 crashed near that town and 40 dear American souls slipped off into eternity on board that day along with their four hijackers. As we arrived, the traffic into the site was at a standstill because the Secretary of the Interior, we were told, was just finishing a press conference there. And three presidents will later visit the site this weekend.
But once we got to the actual place where we could see where the crash happened, it was understandably so a place of reverent calm. A college football team stood silently listening to a guide explain the tragedy, others milled about quietly and somberly reading the placard of where the plane was observed over the hill to our left and plunged into the field below. A woman was reading the note by flowers left behind in memory of those heroes a decade ago. There isn’t much there yet, an open field where Flight 93 finally rested, a wall of the names of the fallen and a large metal shack converted as a temporary museum which tells the story of that fateful day. It’s hard to come and go there without leaving some of your own tears.
I was reading some of the notes people had left in the shack and they were pretty touching. The great majority of them talked in spiritual tones. “God bless” was a common expression in them yet how uncommon in our culture ! Some of you may know that Todd Beamer, who was heard to say “Let’s roll” as they were about to overtake their hijackers, was a believer who’d met his wife at the Christian college they’d attended. We rightly lift him up as a hero, he had the right stuff at the right time but would we? Would we be willing to fight the GOOD fight when it all came down to it?
Perhaps that can best be answered with “what are you ‘risking’ right now?” We go through our daily paces, sure, but what are we really laying on the line for the Lord? Paul encouraged Timothy in his “swan song” of the book of 2 Timothy (his final epistle) knowing he was soon to die by the hand of an executioner, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” (4:5). He pressed Timothy to be faithful, despite hardships that would result from standing true, he urged his friend and protege to be resolved to tell others about how to get to heaven for that is KEY for folks in a state where their plane is hurtling towards eternity too.
But then Paul wound down his remarks by confidently admitting, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” Read just Acts and you know he did war well for the Lord. The scars in his body he must’ve had by this time !! So what can you resolve to put on the line for Christ after we pass the ten year anniversary of 9/11? Be a better evangelist? More Christlike in your afflictions instead of whining? Less time engaged in hobbies or things you like to do and more in making full proof of your ministry? In other words, finding a niche for God to use the talents He’s given you and utilizing them well in His church?
How do we help to avoid another 9/11? Fight the GOOD fight ! YOUR Christian testimony and ministry may just reach some soul in time that would’ve otherwise been reached by a godless terrorist ! So, what do you say? Let’s Roll !!!!