As today coincides with the first anniversary of the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings, I thought it appropriate to recall some thoughts from that time.
Every night for one week following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, I tried to imagine my reaction had I been a passenger on board one of the doomed airplanes, or on a floor in the WTC above where the airplane struck. I kept trying to determine how I would have reacted. Would I have tried to fight with the terrorists, and what weapon or form of counterattack would I have used. If I had been on an upper floor of one of the WTC buildings, would I have put on a large full-length coat, tied the bottom ends to my ankles and attempted to dive onto a nearby roof?
Regardless of my many different scenarios, I could not escape the fact that death would have been a real possibility. The only question that would have mattered to me then would have been whether I was prepared to meet God.
Admittedly the answer to this question is not easy to resolve, so I have used an analogy. I imagined working for a large multinational company with 50,000 employees. One morning I arrived at work to see a message on my desk indicating that the president of the Company wanted to see me immediately. If this were the first time I was going to the president’s office, would I be prepared to go?
1. If I were stealing from the company then I would not be prepared to meet him.
2. If I were doing some private work on the side while using the company’s time and resources, then I would not be prepared to meet him.
3. If I had a habit of gossiping and spreading rumours within the company then I would not be prepared to meet him.
4. If I were constantly arguing with my fellow employees and causing division rather than working as a team to advance the company, then I would not be prepared to meet him.
5. If I were ashamed of working for the company, telling my friends that I was only working there for the money, then I would not be prepared to meet him.
6. If I were lazy, inefficient, coming in late and slacking off, then I would not be prepared to meet him.
7. If I were rude to clients or potential customers, and discouraged their business by complaining about the company then I would not be prepared to meet him.
8. If I had a habit of hiding my mistakes, thereby causing the company to lose lots of money when the mistakes were eventually found out, then I would not be prepared to meet him.
9. If I were habitually careless in my work thereby embarrassing the company, then I would not be prepared to meet him.
10. If I were a responsible employee: learning from my supervisors, cooperating with my fellow employees, honouring the company’s clients, admitting my mistakes quickly, and maintaining a positive attitude about the work, then I would be confident about meeting the president.
Were I not prepared to meet God, then I would wish for just one more week to get ready. Unlike the unfortunate victims trapped inside of the World Trade Center one year ago, you probably have more than one week. What will you do with the remainder of your time?