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Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Challenge of 9/11

Someone said that the only thing that never changes is that everything is always changing.  

Some changes are anticipated and embraced, other changes are avoided  or resisted, especially when those changes are foisted upon us.  

Some changes are gradual, occurring at a pace that helps us adapt, but some changes are so sudden that we find ourselves caught up in a whirlwind.  No matter how it comes our way, change will always come into our lives.  To survive well in this world, one has to learn which things are essential to cling to, which to let go of, and how to adapt to the new situation.

Change can remind us that our world is not as stable and secure we convince ourselves it is, and that nothing lasts forever.  Fifteen years ago today, the world changed dramatically as battle lines were drawn, as evil announced it remains a potent force in our world so graphically illustrated by the evil men who flew their planes into various locations in their mad efforts to destroy innocent lives.  The borders of the United States did not feel quite so secure.  The world saw there is an underbelly of Islam where some individuals choose to dwell rather than pursuing the more noble tenants of that religion.  War was no longer a pitched battle between two clearly defined and uniformed adversaries, but now lived in the shadows and attacks were on targets of impact rather than strategic, military installations.

I don’t think much of anyone appreciated the change that came to the world on 9/11/2001…except perhaps those who are filled with hatred toward the United States.  

Regardless, the change came and we have all had to adapt to a different world view, like it or not.  

How are you at handling change?  If divorce is part of your life experience, then you know personally how dramatic change can be.  As noted in the first paragraph, the change of divorce can also be gradual or sudden, anticipated or resisted, and regardless of which, change comes.

Grieving is part of adapting to change at any level, for with every change, some things are gained, some are lost, and often it is a mixed bag of sorrow and joy.  Grief allows expression of tears for pain over the loss of something or someone special.  Grief also helps us to treasure and celebrate the privilege of having experienced the positive things of life, placing those joyous moments in the proper perspective and chapter of our lives.  In the changes and the grief they bring, there also comes a realization of hope, for a new chapter begins when an old chapter ends, and at that moment the new chapter has yet to be written by our choices, words and actions.  Grief acknowledges that something significant is lost, but not everything is lost, that some things have ended, but some things remain.  

What changes are you facing in life?  What changes are you choosing?  What changes have come, though you would never choose them on your own?  How are those changes opportunities for something more than you imagined, more than you had in your past?  How can you make those changes work for you as you embrace them, rather than drag you down as you resist and cling to a past now gone?

When life changing moments come into our lives, even tragic change such as that sparked by 9/11/2001 they are only the announcement that a new chapter has come.  What we write into that chapter is our own to choose, preferably under the guidance of God.  And, when you stop to think about it, if nothing ever changed, life would get pretty boring, don’t you think?

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