Tag Archives: freedom

September 10th

Over the last week, there have been a lot of retrospectives on the ten years since 9/11.  I know for all of us, that date has forever changed.  It is now synonymous with the tragedy that happened.  Even ten years later, it is hard for me to think about what happened.  I watched a video timeline this morning, and I couldn’t help but cry at the end.  All of those people who died.  Their families.  The sadness.  The grief.  It is all still so real to me.  For me, though, 9/11 is not the only anniversary that I think about this time of year.

The events of 9/11 have given my heart a timeline that affects me now.  This year, God is starting to teach me through it.  There are three dates: 9/10, 9/11, and 9/12.  Each one has specific feelings for me.  And today being 9/10, I would like to reflect briefly on that day.

Looking back, 9/10 now represents innocence to me.  My life changed so much on the day after the 10th, there is now a “simpler time” nostagia about it.  I don’t remember the 10th.  I don’t know what that day was like.  However, in my mind, it looks a lot like the sunny morning of the 11th that we see when we see footage right before the first plane crash.

On 9/10, I was not as paranoid.  I was a little paranoid because that is my personality, but it was not a global paranoia.  I wasn’t worried about how our government handled security.  I was not apprehensive about people and other countries’ thoughts about America.  I was not waiting for the next “shoe to drop.”  It is a sunny day in my mind, with no clouds in sight.

I was not as willing to give up some of my freedom for security.  I was more trusting.  I was less into watching the news.  I feel like I think older generations are when they talk about the “good old days.”  The world just didn’t seem as grim.  The weight of the world is more on my shoulders now because I have an ingrained worry about what could happen.

I don’t know how to explain it better.  9/10 is just a time of deep reflection for me.  I felt safe that day.  Safe because I felt like our country was invincible.  Bad things happened elsewhere.  Not here.  Not in America.

This year, God is making me think about him in this time of reflection.  Where is my security?  What do I trust in?  What do I hope in?

I am not going to get into the whole why-would-God-let-this-happen thing.   But, God is in control.  No matter what happens, God is who we can trust in.  Bad things will happen.  Big things (like 9/11) or small things (losing my keys).  The key is, where is my hope and trust when these things happen?

The weight of the world is not ours to carry.  It isn’t.  God is the sustainer of the world.  My hope is only in Jesus.  Jesus died for my sins to make me right with God.  The proof is in the resurrection.  Jesus coming back from the dead is what tells me that his sacrafice was accepted and complete (see Action Hero Jesus).  I am right with God, no matter what happens.  This is what frees me up to not bear the weight of planet Earth.  What does this mean?  It means I am free to love.  I am free to serve others.  I am free to let go of my daily schedule to connect with others.  I am free to be Jesus’ hands and feet in the world, especialy during a time of tragedy.

Though I might not be secure in this world, I am secure in the next.  I can rest in that.  I can have a 9/10 spiritual life.  And this 9/10 relationship to God allows me to love people through tragedies that happen every day in a 9/11 world.

I don’t know if this made sense or not.  Just trying to articulate how I have been feeling this week, especially today.  What do you think?  How do you feel when you think about 9/10?  Do you have a sense of spiritual security that lets you love and serve other people without the weight of the world on your shoulders?

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The Leaves That Left

Yesterday’s post was a bit heavy (and I know, a bit long).  I decided I probably ought to follow it up with some good news…in the form of a shorter post.  Luckily, God gave me a cool little epiphany moment on the way to church on Sunday.  Let me let you in on it.  Before you read this, if you haven’t read yesterday’s post go there first and read it then come back.

Welcome back!

Now, it all starts with the “Big Red Truck.”

I put quotations around that because that is the truck’s name in our house.  NB loves that truck.  He would ride in it anywhere and everywhere if he could.  When ever we go somewhere he always stands by the steps to our upper driveway and says, “Drive Big Red Tuck?”  He is always a bit disappointed when the answer is no.

This Sunday, I had to go to church early to help out with the children’s program.  When I told NB at breakfast that I was going in the Big Red Truck but he had to stay with Mommy and Nana (LA’s mom), his face fell.  I reassured him that we would take a ride in it soon, and he cheered up.

So, I get in the truck for a 15ish minute drive to church.  I have been home with NB most of the summer (I am a teacher with summers off), and so alone time driving is not something I have experienced in a while.  It is amazing how easy it is to hear him speak when you are alone in quiet (the radio doesn’t work) and how he can use the smallest thing to trigger a huge lesson.

You can’t drive much higher than 45 mph on most of the roads to church.  As I was riding down the road, I saw something out of the corner in of my eye through the rear view mirror.  When I went to get a closer look, it was gone.

A minute or so later, there it was again.  And once more, when I looked it was gone.

It happened once more, movement in the bed of the truck.  This time I looked up quick enough.  Leaves were moving all around the bed of the truck.  I was driving just fast enough to cause a cyclone of air back there.  Leaves from when we hauled some plants were caught in the cyclone.  What had caught my eye was not the spinning leaves, though.  I was seeing the leaves that got away.

Please allow me to drop some science on you for a second…I am a science teacher, that is my job.  What was happening in the back of the truck was the space between the cab and the gate caused air to get trapped.  The trapped air moves in a circle (cylcone…I like that word better).  This is by design.  The air cyclone moves slower than the air moving over the truck as it travels.  The faster air glances off of slower air, and this increases the aerodynamics (and the gas mileage) of the truck.

So anyway, I was watching the leaves as they spun (still watching the road, too) and more leaves escape.  As I was looking at this, God spoke to my heart, “That is you.”

“How?” I sliently thought.

Over the next couple of minutes, God showed me some of the sin cycles that I get caught up in.  The things that I am constantly fighting against.  The “snakes” that I so desperately need to clear out of my life (laziness and pride being cheif among these right now).  Then he reminded me that I am powerless to do this on my own.  I can’t win.  I am stuck.  On my own I will always be trapped, moving slowly in the cyclone of self…God’s fast moving love and grace just glances off and moves on.  I have to stop trying to stop the cycle on my own.  I have to let his kindness and love in.

When I do.  When I invite God into my struggles, through confession, I allow him to enter in.  The Spirit moves into my cyclone and  this allows me to break free.  Only through the power of the Spirit.  Only when I invite his grace in.  Only when I am honest before him.  This humbles me, breaks up the cycle, and this allows me to fly away.

Check out Romans 8:1-12.  I am just going to quote part of it, but read the rest on your own.

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)   And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life[d] because you have been made right with God.   The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”  Romans 8:9-11.

You can be free.  You can break the cycle.  Yes, we HAVE to work on getting rid of the “snakes” in our lives, but we also HAVE to know that we don’t have to do this alone.  We can’t.  Jesus died and was raised again.  That same power that raised him from the dead will break the chains that trap us in the sin cycle.  Please call out to him!  Please turn to God with whatever has you trapped.  Trust him.  He will help you break free.

A side note, tonight I was driving in the Big Red Truck tonight and going to church for a meeting.  On the way there and back, I kept seeing less and less leaves as more and more broke loose and got away.  There is hope!  God can break our sin cycles and free us from them one by one!

Did this speak to you?  Have you found freedom from sin cyclones by inviting God into your stuggle?  Tell me about it  You don’t have to get details…just talk about your freedom!

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