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Then & Now - Week of October 5

  • 2020 Oct 05

The Lesson of 9/11
Ephesians 5:16

I’ll never forget where I was on that fateful day when a group of evil men hijacked planes and set about to murder nearly 3,000 people in New York and Washington. I was twenty-three and working as an editor at a Christian organization. I remember the feelings of despair, vulnerability, and anger as I sat frozen, for two days, in front of the television.

It’s hard to believe it has been eleven years, but it has. Since then, our country has changed. We are now at war, seemingly forever. We’re no longer lulled into a sense of being in a safe bubble of protection, because we’re Americans. Terrorism can strike here, there, and anywhere.

For me, what has changed is a sense of urgency. I was committed to following Christ before 9/11. I had grown up in a Christian home, went to Bible College, and was working in “full-time Christian ministry.” And yet 9/11 gave me a sense of urgency about life. Because the days are increasingly evil.

I was a young man in my early twenties when the towers were struck. That is the age when most guys kind of coast, sort of live sloppily without any sense of ambition. 9/11 awoke me and made me realize that God was calling me to be a light in my generation. There is a need for authentic, gospel-centered leadership in our culture. Too many young men are content to fritter their time away in perpetual adolescence. But playing Wii, memorizing every movie line, and living for the next entertainment high isn’t real manhood at all. Manhood is about sacrifice, the kind that rushes into a burning tower and gives his life for his fellow citizens. Manhood is giving up precious years of life to serve on the battlefield, to protect the freedoms of the nation he loves. Manhood is working hard to raise a family, giving time and money to God’s work, and sharing the gospel with those who haven’t heard.

I think 9/11 awoke a new generation of young people who are measuring the short time they have on earth, who are compelled to lead in this generation. Perhaps you’re one of them.  If so, I pray God gives you the power and strength you need to glorify Him and make a deep impact on your culture.

Daniel Darling is an author, pastor, and public speaker. His latest book is Crash Course, Forming a Faith Foundation for Life. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, follow on him on Twitter at, or check out his website:

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