But make no mistake: We are not okay.
On September 11, 2001, our great nation came together in a beautiful display of unity. For a season those boundaries that typically divide us faded into the background. Religion. Ethnicity. Political Affiliation. Socioeconomic Status.
Unfortunately, the unity and camaraderie of that time faded even before the fires stopped smoldering some 100 days later. In fact, the poltical posturing began almost immediately, and 26 days after the attacks, the U.S. military began bombing Afghanistan.
THE PASSING OF TIME
It has been a long time since September 11, 2001:
- 4018 days
- 574 weeks
- 96,432 hours
- 5,785,920 minutes
- 347,155,200 seconds
All that time, yet we are not okay.
THE PRICE OF PROTECTION
In many ways we are worse off now than we were then.
- More than 2000 U.S. service men and women killed (casualties.org/oef/)
- Nearly 16,000 U.S. service men and women wounded (casualties.org/oef/)
- Nearly $807 billion spent on war in Iraq — and nearly $565 billion spent on war in Afghanistan (costofwar.com)
- $635.9 billion spent on Homeland Security (nationalpriorities.com)
All that sacrifice . . . all that expense, yet we are not okay.
THE PAINFUL TRUTH
The fact of the matter is that we weren’t okay before 9/11/2001, we’re not okay today, and we won’t be okay tomorrow.
And you know what? We’re not supposed to be okay. At least, not in the comfortable, easy-going way we tend to think of the term.
For far too long our country enjoyed the fruits of prosperity from a booming economy, yet that was not enough. Our greed and insatiable desire for more money and material things led many individuals and families to live well beyond their means. By frivolous and undisciplined spending, the once-booming economy began to shrink. But that shrinkage was effectively masked by more and more stuff paid for on credit. Sadly, those generous credit lines were themselves based on inaccurate financial information. Over time, our once-selfless and God-fearing people evolved into a selfish society that made a catastrophic trade that would impact our nation at every level.
We traded faith in God for faith in money.
In this post-9/11 era we continue to see rising debt, both personally and nationally. In fact, our national debt as of last week now exceeds $16 trillion.
Make no mistake: Our problems began way before 9/11/2001. President Obama often speaks of a ‘fundamental transformation’ of our nation. However, I contend that we carved out our own destiny with a series of ungodly choices that helped shape a fundamental transformation long before our current president assumed office. Among them:
- Prayer and Bible reading removed from public schools (Engel v. Vitale, 1962)
- Abortion legalized (Roe v. Wade, 1973) [Since that time — by conservative estimates — more than 50,000,000 abortions have been legally performed.]
We cannot disregard God and continue to expect His blessings on our nation. Of course, most Americans seem either completely apathetic or altogether uninformed as the moral landscape of our nation has increasingly shown evidence of deep decay. Even many church-going people have worshiped at the idol of popular culture rather than feasting on the Word of God. While millions watched Desperate Housewives, Dancing with the Stars, Grey’s Anatomy, and Glee, we managed to:
- Approve plans for a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero (although it has not yet been built)
- Pass a comprehensive healthcare bill that no legislators apparently read and which threatens religious liberty by mandating taxpayers fund contraception, abortifacients, and abortions; and
- Alienate Israel, our most tried-and-true friend and ally in the Middle East — and the lone shining star of democracy in the region
Eleven years later, and our two primary candidates for President are (1) a seemingly moral Mormon and (2) a self-professing Christian whose values and beliefs are inconsistent with millions of Bible-believing followers of Christ.
Eleven years later, and our idea of business during a national political convention includes booing and hissing God, endorsing gay marriage, and celebrating the widespread availability of abortion.
Eleven years later, and our news headlines include:
- America facing economic collapse
- Iran calls for destruction of Israel and U.S., makes rapid advances in nuclear aspirations
- U.S. drought will lead to inflation and higher food prices
THE PATH TO PEACE
The smoky haze over New York City may have long since dissipated, but friends, we are not OK. We remain in a serious fog. Economic uncertainty. Political instability. Moral decline. All are extraordinarily complex issues that require a spiritual solution. The good news is that for those of us who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. Real security exists only in fellowship with Him. All other sources of security are simply illusions of the mind.
Today as we remember the families of 9/11, I hope you will join me in praying for revival in our land. The only true peace can be found in Christ. He is unchanging, unshakable, steady, and dependable. It’s only in His everlasting arms that we can find safety and security. Only with Him can we truly be okay.
IT’S YOUR TURN!
What are your thoughts on this post?