I think we all remember that day. I was in a practice management seminar in the fall of my senior year of dental school. Our entire class was in the room and I will never forget the presenter. Someone came into the room and whispered something in his ear. He paused, took off his glasses, and told us that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.
Everything paused. The reality of what had happened tried to sink in but we were all numb hearing it. We took a break from the seminar because, honestly, there isn’t a script for when something like this happens. The computer lab in the dental school was small. It seems like there were 15-20 machines.
And it was 2001. Do you remember the internet in 2001? Appropriate descriptors do not include fast. And when our whole class of 70-plus crammed into that small room to try to see what was unfolding in real time. It was chilling. Sobering. Hard to comprehend.
We gathered back in the auditorium as things were escalating and decided it was best to call it for the day. So I made my way back to 930 B Boston Way in Coralville. Our humble condo was the best possible place of solace that day. Amy was at work. The office where she worked kept on going. And did I mention our financial status at the time? We were broke. Single income high debt load broke. Grad school broke. But we needed TV, right? We had the most basic of cable packages so we could at least watch something.
We had 56 channels. About 8 of them had any value at all. Local channels and a couple others. I remember flipping through the channels trying to decide which would show the best coverage of the events that were unfolding and I started to understand the magnitude of what was happening. 55 of the 56 channels showed coverage of 9/11.
QVC kept cranking. They probably did pretty well that day! People needed a break from the coverage.
What struck me the most from that day and what continues to strike me is how fast life can change. And how significantly it can change. We take it for granted when life is clicking along and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of tension.
Let me tell you from experience- those are the times to be thankful and to put down deep faith roots. Because you need that faith when the tragedies of life hit. You can’t reach for what you don’t have. It won’t be there if you haven’t been building it.
I don’t know what you have going on right now. You may be in a 9/11 season right now. If so, please don’t lose hope. One way you can #WINtheNOW is to believe that good days are ahead. And if you are in a calm season, know that a 9/11 could be around the corner. That is not a cause for alarm, but rather a call to put down roots.
Prayer. Scripture reading and memorization. Gratitude walks. Quiet reflection or mindfulness. Now is the time to work on those things so that when you need them, they are already present in your life.
9/11 changed everything. I hope we are still aware of the lessons and that we can apply them to our lives. So we can be as ready as possible. And be connected to the one who is always ready. And truly believe that good days are ahead.