1 John 2:16-17 (New International Version)
16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
Early on the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 hijackers took control of four commercial airliners (two Boeing 757 and two Boeing 767) en route to San Francisco or Los Angeles after takeoffs from Boston, Massachusetts, Newark, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. Large planes with long flights were intentionally selected for hijacking because they would be heavily fueled.
The four flights involved were:
American Airlines Flight 11: Left Boston's Logan Airport at 7:59 a.m. enroute to Los Angeles with a crew of 11 and 76 passengers, not including five hijackers. The hijackers flew the plane into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m.
United Airlines Flight 175: Left Logan Airport at 8:14 a.m. enroute to Los Angeles with a crew of nine and 51 passengers, not including five hijackers. The hijackers flew the plane into the South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m.
American Airlines Flight 77: Left Washington Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia at 8:20 a.m. enroute to Los Angeles with a crew of six and 53 passengers, not including five hijackers. The hijackers flew the plane into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m.
United Airlines Flight 93: Left Newark International Airport at 8:42 a.m. enroute to San Francisco, with a crew of seven and 33 passengers, not including four hijackers. After the passengers revolted, the hijackers crashed the plane into the ground near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m.
If there’s one thing that fateful day eleven years ago has taught us, it’s that tomorrow is not promised.
If only we could apply that line of thinking to other areas of our life. The truth from the 9/11 tragedy is some of us now realize that the nice cars, big homes, many of the dreams that we have been chasing are just not all that important. Maybe we have come to understand, as the Apostle John came to understand, that serving God is much more important than honoring our own desires.
The World Trade Center tragedy has also helped us to understand that we have two citizenships, one in this world and one in heaven. Perhaps the greater reality is that while we’ve been storing up riches in this world, we have yet to see a Wells Fargo Truck follow any of the hearses we’ve seen on television. We can’t take it with us!
It’s not a sin to want nice things. But it is a sin when the want for those nice things becomes our god – when we are willing to subordinate what really matters for what doesn’t.
The Apostle Paul teaches that the real treasures in life are those that we will see when we get on the other side of eternity.
Dear Lord we pray that we would not store up our treasures on Earth but that we would do the things that bring honor to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.