September 11, 2001.
I remember well the events of that day. So shocking were they that the course of an entire nation came briefly to an abrupt halt before making a slight turn. Shock turned into anger, which turned into a resolve that seemed for a while to pull this vast American union together.
The flags flew. The seventh inning stretch became a time to sing God Bless America in place of Take Me Out to the Ball Game. As we watched the rescue efforts at the Pentagon and World Trade Center morph into recoveries we were made ever so mindful of our own mortality. And that triggered something within us - a spark that was encouraging, but never grew into a flame.
That following Sunday at every church in America seemed like Easter. Everyone, it seemed came to a realization that God was important in their lives. At least for that moment He was.
But as Americans we proved once again that we live for the moment and not with eternity in mind. The resurgence of church lasted just a few weeks before waning away. The requests to open the church doors during the week so prayers could be made on the lunch hour faded. And instead of making a 180 back to God we just took a bend in the road before getting back on the same old paths away from Him.
And here we are today, twelve years later. Not only are we not closer to God, as a nation we are running in the opposite direction as fast as our relative moralities will take us. I wonder what God thinks? Surely this didn't surprise Him.
Preachers like myself, while hating the evil of 9-11 hoped that perhaps it was a true wake up call leading to a revival like the Great Awakenings or even the Jesus Movement. But it was not. Like on a rainy afternoon we were interrupted from our nap only to roll over and go back to sleep.
What will it take to bring America back to our knees? That's where we need to be.
Before it's too late to change.