I can remember specific dates and experiences in my past quite well. I remember when Dad retired from the Navy and we moved to the farm, I remember my first deer killed, I remember where I was and what I was doing when President Kennedy was assassinated, I remember my High School graduation, I remember the first time I kissed Patty, I remember our wedding, I remember my first sermon at Jefferson Baptist Church as the Pastor, and I remember watching the events of 9/11 on the news.
A group of us from JBC had gone on a short-term mission trip to China. We had been there about ten days, and we were in a motel the night before we were scheduled to fly home. The television was on in the room for no apparent reason because everything was in Chinese. On the television, the image of a skyscraper being hit by a plane and lots of smoke was being shown repeatedly. At first I thought it was a movie, but as it kept being repeatedly shown I thought it must be something else. I called the rooms of the others and asked them to watch it and see what they thought. The missionary that we were there to help finally gave us a very limited explanation of what had just happened back home. We wondered all night long about the details, imagining the worst possible scenario, and in the morning received a printout of a computer news summary of what had actually happened.
One piece of news was that we could fly to Hong Kong, but we would be stuck there indefinitely because all airports in the USA were closed until further notice. The big problem for us was how we could manage a long-term layover in Hong Kong financially. We found a YMCA that had room for us to stay fairly cheap as well as meals. We spent much of our time prayer walking around the city and also going to the airport to find out the latest news about being able to get back home. I don’t remember how many days we were there but I think it was less than a week.
One of the most memorable experiences was the discussions among people who were also stuck at the airport that I witnessed as we waited there for news. Many of the discussions were very heated, and several almost came to a physical fight; the airport police even arrested one guy.
The content of the discussions was all over the place, but one thing that regularly was said was very critical remarks about the United States, and some even said that they were glad that the event happened. I never entered into any of the discussions but I often had the strong urge to punch someone in the face.
It is now twenty years later and the number of critical statements made about the United States that I now hear are many times more and almost daily. Probably because of the volume of those statements or maybe because of my age I don’t have the urge to punch anyone in the face anymore.
But I am still a very strong patriot and supporter of my country. Often in the Bible God urges Israelites to be loyal to their country, and though the USA is not Israel and we are not Jews, I think the principle of loyalty and patriotism is applicable to us as well.
Psalms 122:6-9 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
“May peace be within your walls,
And prosperity within your palaces.”
For the sake of my brothers and my friends,
I will now say, “May peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.
I am committed to praying for my country and her leaders, and doing what I can to support her as a loyal, patriotic citizen.