SHINE: SOAR By the Spirit — When You Remember, Think on These Things

SHINE … By the Spirit™ with Tonya M. Evans

When You Remember, Think on These Things

© 2011 Tonya M. Evans

September 11, 2011

Credit: Dharma Communications

Today many citizens — not only of the United States but also of this planet — pause in some way to remember and reflect on the tragic events of September 11, 2001. I certainly do recall exactly where I was when I learned planes had hit The Towers and gone down in Pennsylvania and DC. It is hard to believe that ten years have passed.

But despite the human inclination to memorialize all things good, bad and otherwise (in our own limited understanding) by a specific date and a specific time and a particular event, the reality is that nature and life move on. Not in a callous or uncaring way but in the same way that seasons change, tides ebb and flow, we breathe in … and then exhale.

Nature is a great teacher of this principle. The grass that grows after a fire has decimated a field; the flower that blooms after a hurricane destroys a home; the sand crab that emerges after a flood; the seedlings that reach for the sun at the stump of a once-tall and mighty tree leveled by a tornado.

And we, like other species of life, re-build. We rebuild homes, communities and, most importantly, our faith that we can endure come what may. We do this in part because we are a resilient people. But we also see hope in the “hopeless” because God’s purpose and plan goes far beyond this physical realm. And God’s care and provision remains in all circumstances even (and especially) when it appears all hope is gone. It is that idea I encourage you to focus on and expand today.

Our Creator is OMNIPOTENT (all-powerful)

Our Creator is OMNISCIENT (all-knowing)

Our Creator is OMNIPRESENT (present everywhere within and all around)

Today is a reminder to show love, kindness, compassion each and every day (and moment) to family, friend and stranger alike because tomorrow is not promised. We have the power to choose in each moment to focus on and increase love or fear. It is an important and ever-present choice because they cannot co-exist. God is love and light. Fear is the perceived absence of God and perceived darkness. And the choice is ours in what we choose to see.

The media machine — sometimes well-intentioned and other times focused on dollars and ratings — might have you focus on fear, to be drawn into the feeling of re-living the tragedy every year this time. And a quick gander at the 5:00 o’clock news on any given day makes the same point; a focus on sensationalized tragedy. The political machine is often no better; encouraging the masses to go far beyond ordinary care and vigilance to perpetuate a constant state of “terror and fear.” But …

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” ~ Dionne Warwick

So today, I’ve chosen to unplug from the media machine’s coverage and to focus on love and loving kindness for all who lost loved ones, for all who were injured or killed, for all who endured wars and suffering as a result and for all who need our time, love, care and attention in this moment. Because the truth is babies were born on September 11th, 2001. And people — strangers to each other — showed extraordinary bravery and compassion; and for a time we forgot to complain that day and we thanked God that we had another opportunity to tell someone we loved them.
We stopped focusing on lack in some ways and for a time focused on what we had that others lost that day. Perhaps we drew closer to our loved ones, checked in on or connected with neighbors and colleagues, extended courtesies to strangers we otherwise wouldn’t think to do and literally ached for some way to do something good for someone else. Many of us were “first responders” that day. And that spirit of service and love for love’s sake still dwells within us. We can choose to focus on those things. On the goodness of God and the God-spark that exists in each of us. And so I leave you with this scripture:

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is TRUE, whatever is NOBLE,

whatever is RIGHT, whatever is PURE, whatever is LOVELY, whatever is ADMIRABLE

—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—

think about such things. ~ Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

As you remember … think on, reflect on and affirm these things.

Flower emerging from the ashes

Credit: Jasohill's photostream

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One Response

  1. Denise,

    You are such a positive woman, keep strong and do not let other people take your light away. You are definately meant for big things! Keep being your sweet self and thank you for your comment and support for By The Spirit! Much love and light!


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