WHEN THE WORLD STOPPED TURNING

(Post by: Madie Hobbs)

A few days ago, my dad and I were sitting on our couch listening to some of our favorite, old songs. Songs we always used to listen to when we went trucking. It was two o’clock in the morning, the whole house was quiet, and only the sound, interrupting the silence, was those songs which hold so many of my favorite memories.

After a little while of listening, Dad said he’d re-discovered an old Alan Jackson song; one I had never heard before. He looked it up on YouTube and found the video he had watched. It was a video of Alan Jackson preforming a song he wrote about the tragic terrorist attack of 9/11 for the first time.

In this song, he asks the question, “Where were you when the world stopped turning,” and gives several examples of what people may have done as soon as they heard about the attack and in the days following. Even though I’ve heard a multitude of horrific stories revolving around that fateful day, the song brought a tear to my eye as I was newly reminded of the tragedy and grief so many people were forced to experience.

Dad made a comment, saying that almost every one of the scenarios mentioned in the song were things he had experienced that day. He told me about how, just a little while after he had heard about what happened, he went out and hung an American flag on our front porch.

He reminded me of the special services our church held and the hundreds of people who showed up that normally would never have even thought of entering a church building.

He talked about crowding around the TV and radio, desperate for little scraps of information about who had done it, and whether any more bodies had been found in the rubble.

We all know about the incredible way people came together and stood with those who had lost loved ones, vowed vengeance against the perpetrators of the attack, and sought God more than they had in a long time. But as that tear rose to my eye, I experienced sorrow for the absence of that fellowship today.

Think back with me to the many times our world has “stopped turning” over the past three years especially. I’m sure quite a few different events just came to your mind. Many of our cities were nearly burned to the ground because of violent BLM protestors. A few of our own states have begun proposing bills that would allow “abortions” to take place up to two weeks after birth. LGBTQ ideologies have infiltrated our schools and are destroying the young people of my own generation. Suicide rates have sky-rocketed due to ridiculous C o v I D mandates and political instability in our country. Our government has chosen to leave American citizens and allies in Afghanistan to suffer terrible fates.

I could go on, and on, and on. If you’re anything like me, your heart ceases to beat for a moment, and your world stops turning just thinking about these outrageous events.

Now, I would like you to think back with me to the times where the entire country came together to protect the innocent, stand up for our country, and turn to Jesus, the One who has so abundantly blessed our nation.

Not as many events came to your mind, did they? If you’re like me (especially if you’re younger like me), not even one event came to mind.

“I in them and you in me, that you may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:23 ESV)

The question I have asked myself so many times throughout my life is where has our ability and desire to unify gone? When I look around and see how little some of my friends and acquaintances think of America, and how I seem to be the only one who still has pride for American exceptionalism, I can’t help but wonder.

When we look back on the terrorist attack of 9/11, we don’t see a divide between democrats and republicans, white and black, adult and child.

Quite simply, all we see is American exceptionalism at its very best.

But this pride isn’t just something we “pass down through the bloodstream”, as President Reagan once said. It is found, rather, in the small, everyday deeds of ordinary people and the tremendous miracles the Lord has performed in our country.

As we celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, and remember the incredible sacrifices of our veterans, I implore you to look at your fellow man and simply see that we are all created in the image of God, and we live in the greatest country in the history of the world.

When our world stops turning, I can only pray that we move past our petty grievances and stand as one nation under God; the One who enables our world to begin spinning again and causes the sun to rise anew over this blessed land.

“No one is beat till he quits,

No one is through till he stops,

No matter how hard Failure hits,

No matter how often he drops,

A fellow’s not drown till he lies

In the dust and refuses to rise.

Fate can slam him and bang him around,

And batter his frame till he’s sore,

But she never can say he’s drowned

While he bobs up serenely for more.

A fellow’s not dead till he dies,

Nor beat till he no longer tries.”

~ Edgar Guest – Defeat

SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?

= Do you believe we have been created in the image of God and made for fellowship and unity?

= What are you going to do differently?

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