Today is the anniversary of 911. It is this generation’s “day of infamy.” We all remember where we were. What we were doing. Who we were with. It’s been 11 years, but it seems like yesterday.
The attack of 911 was devastating on several levels. The tragic loss of innocent life. Destruction of the landmark twin towers. Harm to our economy. And the changes that have occurred impacting our way of life such as air travel.
Yet, we recall, that as with any tragedy, there were many positive moments. Strangers assisting total strangers. The heroism of our fireman, policeman and first responders. The unity in our country. Politicians laying aside partisanship for the greater good. Unfortunately, the passing of time, other problems that have captured our attention, and rancor of the current political climate has diminished that spirit.
There is, however, a group founded by two friends David Paine and Jay Winuk to recapture that spirit of goodwill. It is called “I will–The 911 day moment. Their purpose is expressed on their web page.
9/11 Day is the international non-profit movement to observe September 11 every year as a day of charitable service and doing good deeds. We created this observance soon after 9/11 to provide a positive way to forever remember and pay tribute to the 9/11 victims, honor those that rose in service in response to the attacks, and remind people of the importance of working more closely together in peace to improve our world. Today millions participate annually by taking time out on 9/11 to help others in need, in their own way.
Some of the commitments by people were “I will make food for my neighbors.” “I will volunteer at my local soup kitchen.” “I will say something nice to a stranger.” “I will teach students to be proud to be Americans.”
The “I will” slogan reminded me of a piece I have used for many years when I talk about ministry or service. It seen it attributed to “Selected.” But one source says, it was written by William A. Ward.
I will do more than belong – I will participate.
I will do more than care – I will help.
I will do more than believe – I will practice.
I will do more than be fair – I will be kind.
I will do more than forgive – I will forget.
I will do more than dream – I will work.
I will do more than teach – I will inspire.
I will do more than earn – I will enrich.
I will do more than give – I will serve.
I will do more than live – I will grow.
I will do more than live – I will triumph.
I will do more than be friendly – I will be a friend.
Christians are called to greater service. Nobler ministry. Deeper commitment. The second great command is for us to “love our neighbor as ourselves” (Matt 22:39). And Paul commands us “to do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:10).
What will you do? Not just today on 911. But this week? This month? What opportunities do you have? What resources are at your disposal? What talents do you possess?
Some have money to give. Others time to volunteer. Maybe it is a special ability to do something than others can’t. Maybe it is a simple thank you for someone who served you. Maybe a smile. Or a wink. A hug. A pat on the pack. A kind word. An encouraging note. A helping hand.
Can you say,”I will” to your family? To your neighborhood? To your service club? To your school? To your church family?
Think about it. Two powerful words that can make a big difference. I will.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
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