Wednesday, September 11, 2013

12 Years Later

12 years ago today, I was sitting in a conference room in an office building on the North Dallas Parkway, getting ready for a vendor demo from PeopleSoft. As more and more people arrived, word started trickling in about the planes crashing into the WTC towers. At the morning break, all of the consultants were busy trying to catch up with friends and co-workers that had been traveling that day, to see if they were safe. Everyone else was glued to the TV screens in the lobby of the building, trying to make sense of what happened.

We canceled the demo, and my company shut down. I was working for Greyhound at the time, so a shut down meant that all of our buses came off the roads. They were allowed to continue to the nearest Greyhound terminal, and then they stopped. Passengers were stranded, and emotions were running high.

Living in the D/FW metroplex meant that you got used to all the air traffic. A major international airport, and another regional airport, will fill the skies with planes. It was a surreal experience to not see any contrails arcing across the sky, or hear the roar of a passenger jet clawing for altitude.

To my knowledge, I didn't know anyone that died that day, but it still had a profound impact on me. It made me more aware of my surroundings, and unfortunately less trusting of those around me. It showed that our physical life is ephemeral, and can end in an instant. It proved that there are those in the world that seek harm for harm's sake.

And yet I'm comforted by the words of Joseph to his brothers, upon the death of their father, "as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good." God is in control. We might not understand why something happens, but that doesn't mean God is clueless. Life is not a series of random chaotic events. There is a Maker, and He still reigns.

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)

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