As we approach the 20th anniversary of the attack on our nation by radical Islamic terrorists, I find myself reflecting on how that one infamous day changed the course of history. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I got word that planes crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, then later the Pentagon. I remember vividly the almost surreal images we witnessed on television and the sobering realization that our homeland was vulnerable to attack by those who were bent on destroying our way of life. I remember the steps we took to console a group of students who were trying to make sense of this unexpected tragedy. Clearly, 9/11 will be forever etched in my memory as a life-changing event that still reverberates to this day.
What lessons can we learn from 9/11? Well, to start with, we witnessed a clear contrast between good and evil. If anyone was clinging to the belief that man’s nature is basically good, that belief was dispelled as we witnessed the actions of unredeemed individuals who were willing to murder innocent humans for their ideological ends. Terrorists reject the doctrine of imago Dei.
Secondly, the 9/11 attacks gave us a front-row view of the inevitable clash between worldviews. As we try to teach our students here at Legacy, there are multiple worldviews competing for their allegiance. Chuck Colson once said, “if you want to test the validity of a worldview, follow it to its logical conclusion.” Just as the logical conclusion of the Islamist worldview results in the elimination of infidels, the logical conclusion of the Christian worldview results in grace received and grace extended.
Finally, 9/11 taught us the importance of hope. Not just any hope, but a biblical hope that assures us that God has not abandoned nor forsaken us, despite the scope of our tragedy. Did anything good result from 9/11? I think so. For a short time afterward, our nation was united unlike any time in my lifetime. For a while, most all American citizens were in agreement that our shared ideals based on biblical values were worth fighting for and defending. We were motivated to perform unselfish acts of service. We were inspired by acts of courage and remarkable heroism. We were reminded that God is in the redemption business and our trust in his providence gives us hope no matter how dire a situation might be. Author Paul David Tripp wrote in my September 3rd devotional, “I may not understand what is happening and I may not know what is coming around the corner, but I know that God does and that he controls it all. So even when I am confused, I can have hope, because my hope does not rest on my understanding, but on God’s goodness and his rule.”
Please take a moment this weekend to commemorate the 9/11 tragedy and honor the memories of the 2977 people who lost their lives on that day, as well as the thousands who died subsequently.
Bill McGee is in his sixth year as Head of School at Legacy Christian Academy in Frisco, Texas. He is a veteran educator who has 40 years of experience serving in public and private schools, including 30 years serving as head of private schools in Texas, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
Legacy Christian Academy is Frisco's preeminent Pre-K through 12 Christian school committed to educating students in a college preparatory environment balanced in academics, athletics, and fine arts–all within the context of a biblical worldview. For more information on Legacy, visit our admissions page.