Will you be ready for your divine appointment? It’s already set on God’s calendar.

With FBI agents listening in on their call, he informed Jefferson of their plans to rush the hijackers. Todd recited the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm with Jefferson, prompting others to join in. He requested of Jefferson, "If I don't make it, please call my family and let them know how much I love them."

Sept. 11, 2001, also known as 9/11 and Patriot Day, is a day that lives in infamy. I remember exactly where I was on that day, and I’m sure you do as well.

This past Monday marked the 22nd anniversary of that fateful day in which 2,977 unsuspecting Americans lost their lives at the hands and actions of a horrific terrorist ideology and 19 hijackers that led to two planes crashing into the Twin Towers in New York City, one into the Pentagon, and another being diverted to a field in Pennsylvania where it crashed as well.

Monday was a sobering day of tributes and memorials and remembrances. And tears. We will never forget, and we should not.

The day also served as a reminder to me and to many others as to the importance of life. We get so busy that we often don’t stop and recognize our many, everyday blessings.

What is the most important thing in this life? Well, it’s not the six-figure salary, the trendy clothes, the fancy car, or the corner office – that’s for sure. We get so caught up sometimes in the material things.

I don’t want to minimize the importance of a nice home and a good car and all that – but those are things. Things come and go.

We need to pause more often and reflect on our faith and family, and on those we love and who love us, because we don’t know when ours or their time will come to depart this life. We may live long lives and depart this world in perfect peace - or we may not. The times we live in are treacherous, from natural disasters to random acts of violence, to accidents that happen every day. How’s this for an amazing fact? The last day that no one died on a Texas road – not a single traffic fatality – was Nov. 7, 2000. That’s was even before 9/11 happened. That’s astounding and no, that’s not a typo!

Sept. 11, 2001, had so many incredible stories of heroism amidst the cowardly, ungodly acts of the al-Qaeda terrorists who carried out their suicide missions under the direction and instigation of Osama Bin Laden. One that I will always remember is Todd Beamer, one of the heroic passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93. Todd was one of the passengers who attempted to regain control of the aircraft from the hijackers.

During the struggle, the Boeing 757 crashed into a field in near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing everyone on board, but saving the hijackers' intended target (likely the U.S. Capitol building or the White House) and untold additional victims.

Todd, who had a pregnant wife at home, joined with several other passengers who helped avert an even greater tragedy. Todd tried to place a call home but was routed to a GTE airphone supervisor, Lisa Jefferson.

With FBI agents listening in on their call, he informed Jefferson of their plans to rush the hijackers. Todd recited the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm with Jefferson, prompting others to join in. He requested of Jefferson, "If I don't make it, please call my family and let them know how much I love them." After this, Jefferson heard muffled voices and Beamer clearly exclaiming, "Are you ready? Okay. Let's roll." And roll they did.

The sheer numbers are still staggering. 2,977 Americans lost their lives that day. More than 200 people fell to their deaths from the burning towers, most of whom committed suicide in order to escape the extreme heat, fire and smoke. At the World Trade Center complex, 414 emergency workers died as they tried to rescue people and fight fires. The New York City Fire Department lost 343 firefighters. The New York City Police Department lost 23 officers and the Port Authority Police Department lost 37 officers.

I don't believe many or any of them woke up that morning knowing that their physical lives would end that day. But all of their immortal souls live on - I would desire they all see Heaven but that is not likely.

More than 2,000 years ago, there was another One who died a horrific death on a lonely tree, flanked on either side by a criminal. His death made provision for the horror that befell our fellow citizens on that ill-fated September Tuesday and made allowance for their souls that live on. And for ours.

I wonder – did they receive Jesus Christ as their Savior - did they answer His knock on the door of their hearts?

9/11 serves yet another purpose for many who remain now. It reminds us in real time, to borrow the phrase of the great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., of “the fierce urgency of now.”

Are we representing Jesus to a world who desperately needs to see Him modeled, to hear of what He offers, to understand that the gift of eternal life that can be theirs if they only confess with their mouths and believe in their hearts that JESUS IS LORD and that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9)?

May we all be keenly aware of our surroundings and our mortality, and may we seek to live well and be at peace with others. Let’s not get caught up in the petty and the mundane. Husbands and wives, love one another. Families – don’t sweat the small stuff. Friends – be supportive. Enemies – turn the other cheek and exercise humility. Everyone - emulate the character of Christ.

"Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good," Romans 12:21.

When I look back on things that have disturbed my peace, I regret past foolishness and occasional grudges (sin, by other names), dwelling on things that ultimately did not matter. Jesus matters.

What’s most important in this life? A relationship with Jesus, knowing that our eternal destinies are at stake. Two weeks ago, as a result of one of the two weekly Bible Studies Vanessa hosts each Tuesday morning and Thursday night, a young woman gave her life to Christ. She asked some questions during the study and Vanessa, sensing the move and stirring of the Holy Spirit, asked the woman if she could call her later. That night, she called and led the woman to Christ. All of Heaven rejoiced! Vanessa will baptize her in the coming weeks. Now THAT’s what’s important and lasting - that’s work that matters.

Each of us has a divine appointment. Will you be ready when He calls your name? #NEVER FORGET!

Leave a comment