I remember a lot about that day, but this is not a 9/11 post necessarily. This is a post about change. On 9/11 there was a fear more attacks were coming. My parents had called me telling me to fill up my gas tank…the lines were insanely long with everyone in the town to do the same thing. Fear was in the air, but I hate lines so I didn’t get gas right away. I went to play practice that night. It was a play about surviving horror. The theatre was always one of my favorite places and I remember our director, Ron Laws, telling us he decided not to cancel play practice that night because the horrible acts were a reminder that people needed to see our production…about love, God’s love for the world and the salvation possible for those who believe. The play was “The Hiding Place,” based on the life of Corrie ten Boom who survived the Nazi atrocities and learned forgiveness.
In retrospect, the lessons from The Hiding Place are still needed today.
Coming home from play practice, I had the thoughts of America under attack, play practice and general confusions about what was happening in the world rolling around in my head. I drove past a gas station and realized there was no longer a line this late at night. And gas was still $1.51 a gallon, a big deal since some gas stations had dramatically raised prices. So I filled up. In the weeks to follow gas prices would dramatically drop and then raise again. Eventually raising to more then $3 a gallon around the country.
As I filled up again for $1.51 a gallon, I thought about all that had changed. What would I tell that young man who was full of questions that evening in 2001? I took out my phone and snapped a picture. I doubt I could explain to that guy who had a Nokia bar phone at the time that one day in the future he would have a computer, more powerful than the one he had at home in the palm of his hand.
Would I warn him of what the future would hold? Would I back then believe any of it? Forgetting the philosophical issues with warning about the future…what would I tell myself?
Maybe he would like to hear that the Royals’ baseball season would one day stop ending on opening day?
Perhaps that he should stop worrying about getting a girlfriend so much because he would one day meet an amazing woman and have an incredible family?
Would he care to learn that someday he would be worried about the price of gas being that low and that the economic conditions of the cost of oil could have dramatic consequences and international oil cartels were artificially manipulating the price in an effort to destroy competition?
Should he be told that in a year he would have a leading role at that same theatre and try to make blood capsules for his death scene and that he shouldn’t try to find something with more liquidity than corn syrup and using laundry detergent was going to be a horrible idea to put in something you were going to put in your mouth?
I don’t know what I would tell myself if I could walk up to him at that gas pump buying a tank of gas for $1.51 a gallon.
Maybe I would just tell him that life was going to be a wild ride, so hold on.