Wake-up calls not always wanted

errorists message on Sept. 11 not one we easily can return

Posted: Friday, September 21, 2001

How many times, after checking into a motel, do we request a wake-up call for the next morning?

Perhaps business or pleasure will keep you up late for the duration of your stay at the hotel and you will need to get up early for an appointment. The fear of oversleeping causes you to ask for outside help in getting up on time, and so the front desk becomes the source of your wake-up call.

The late night causes tiredness, but the wake-up call comes anyway. You may not be happy when the phone rings. You may even take the phone off the hook to stop the ringing, them slam it back on the hook in order to signal your displeasure at having to wake up from the deep sleep you were enjoying.

Nevertheless, the call accomplished its purpose -- you woke up.

How shocked and deeply hurt we all were last Tuesday as we woke to the disaster taking place in New York, Washington, D.C., and in a field in Pennsylvania.

This was the kind of action we have become accustomed to reading about in novels, but surely not in real life. Tom Clancy wrote one novel about a commercial airliner being flown and crashed into the U.S. Capitol, but that was all fiction -- make believe -- written for entertainment.

How could this be real?

The wake-up call to danger was not a pleasant thing for many of us. We wanted to "slam the phone back on the hook" and go back to our pleasant life of peace in America. We wanted to somehow not have to face this new day dawning for the whole world.

But, face it we must. Our prayers, sympathy and support are offered to those who were personally touched by this tragedy. And we do stand united as a nation. We will face this new enemy and danger together. We are not alone. We're all wide-awake now.

We're not sure where we're going or how we're going to get there, but we're going there together as one nation, under God.

In the midst of all of this, could God also be calling a nation back to him? As American's have we had a fatal lapse of memory, forgetting to acknowledge "the Power that has made and preserved us as a nation"? Have we begun to congratulate ourselves on our own achievements -- to celebrate man, while relegating God to the back seat?

You see, when God fades from a nation's conscience, one can justify almost anything. We have tended to forget that we are a unit -- united for freedom. Yet, in that freedom, we must follow God's precepts. We cannot justify sin in the name of freedom.

God gave us a guideline, and in following that guideline, we can find real freedom. We can find that we are not tied to fears that our behavior is going to cause us diseases of the body and mind. We can learn to love and not hate; to have compassion and not have a need for revenge. We need to awaken our sense of neighborhood, of righteousness, of morality and of godliness.

The hope of the Christian is the prospect of heaven, whether we die and are resurrected or are alive and taken up into heaven when the trumpet of God sounds. We have lived "status-quo" for so long, that many of us are caught up in business or pleasure and the wake-up call has not been something we wanted.

We must wake up now. The world will not be the same after last week. Wake up and get on your feet for this new day. The first order of business is to make sure your life is ordered according to God's Word. Yes, in God we trust, and God bless America are good words, but they must be a way of life, not rhetoric.

Stuart Churchill pastors the Kenai United Pentecostal Church at Mile 16.5 of the Kenai Spur Highway. He extends a warm welcome to anyone who would like to attend services or who would like to have a personal Bible study. Services are at 1 p.m. on Sundays and 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.

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