Friday, April 26, 2013

Ground Zero

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on September 11th.  I remember the moment I found out a plane had slammed into the tower.  I remember watching live as the second plane hit.

It was such a numb, surreal moment in time.  I remember being glued to the news for quite a while, and then walking outside and using my cell phone to call all of my family and friends that lived or may have been in the city.  While very close to home, I did not lose any loved ones that day.  The same cannot be said for many, many others.  I remember the piles of twisted, smoldering metal at the base of what used to be the Twin Towers.  It used to be a sight to see.

Now, it's known as Ground Zero.

Where there once stood not one, but two towers, there now stands nothing but the memory of them.  There is a whole generation of young teenagers who never even knew what they looked like.  Who don't remember what the skyline looked with them standing- who do not understand the pain in looking at the skyline without them.  They do not remember where they were or what they were doing on September 11th.  They were too young to remember.

What happens when everything you have built and worked for comes crashing down?  What happens when one moment your life represents hard work, financial prosperity, and the very investment of your soul- and the next moment it is simply ground zero.  I think about the changes in my life.  The things I have built and the things I have lost.  Trying to sift through the debris and find some remnants to help me remember what it used to look like.  Trying to decide if I should rebuild or create a memorial to the things that used to be.

I'm not sure I want to do either of those things.  I don't want to rebuild, at least not on top of the old foundation.  That was made for a time and a place and a purpose- it was for then.  It is not for now.  However, I also do not want to set up a memorial- I don't want to idolize what used to be, nor do I want to be chained to the things that were, unable to move forward.

But we have to move forward in our lives.  Ground zero is not the only ground on which to build.  It held my hard work and my dreams, and when it came down on me it became just a pile of ground- lifeless; inanimate.  What made the structure of my life so great was not the actual materials or the beauty of it's appearance...what made it great was character used in building it.  The effect it had on the lives around me.  The God who worked on my behalf to have it built.

I realize that I write coming from a perspective of sudden tragedy- that is a little dramatic, but I think you know what I mean.  Maybe there are some of you whose buildings are standing tall.  Maybe your life has been going by wonderfully and the things you have build are still a sight to see...but perhaps you are feeling restless.  There may come a time where your work is finished.  You will stand at your ground zero and look up and see a beautiful building- and then wonder why you suddenly don't feel as excited inside as you once did.

Rebuilding comes in many forms.  Sometimes your world comes crashing down and you must find new ground, and other times the building stands tall but your work is simply done.  It's ok to move on.  It's ok to finish your work, enjoy the view your life has created, and them go and find out what ground God wants to use you to build next.  In the same way, it's ok to grieve the loss of everything you built...but you too also have to move on.  Ground zero does not have to be a bad memory.  Remember, before anything was ever built you stood on ground zero, planning and dreaming about all the things you would do.  You still did those things.  You still worked and prayed, bled and cried, dreamed and inspired.  Take a piece of what once was, or what is finished, and keep it with you as you move on.

Find a new ground zero.  Find new ground and new land to build on.  Find the new dreams and passions he is awakening in your soul.  Find out that God has foreseen the events in your life and is inviting you to join Him in living the next chapter.

Go ahead and find out.

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