We originally published this entry two years ago after hearing a speech from 9/11 survivor George Sleigh. We’ve decided to republish it once again this year in memory of all those affected by the tragedy.
George Sleigh, the 9/11 survivor shown on the right in this widely distributed picture, spoke to our church at our Saturday morning Men’s Breakfast this week. George was on the 91st floor of the North Tower, the highest floor with any survivors, when he saw the underbelly of the plane approaching from only a few hundred feet away. Now retired and living back in Hudson, Ohio, George provided a first hand look of the attack, from his experience that day.
“No one inside the buildings expected that they would fall,” George told us. He related some of the strange things that he and some of his coworkers did that day. George, himself, went back to his office to retrieve the briefcase he is carrying in the picture. Another guy went back to shut down his PC and a third watered his plants, remembering that they had died after the 1993 bombing. The two other men in the picture with George were Port Authority employees from the lower 40th floor, who had waited to begin their exit from the building, after reasoning that the hallways might be crowded and it might be better to wait.
When asked a few years ago whether or not his faith saved him that day, George told us, “No. There were others who shared my faith who died that day. My faith did not save me, but it has sustained me.” My faith did not save me, but it has sustained me.
I keep Proverbs 23:4-5 taped to the top of the computer monitor which spews forth the day’s financial quotes. It reminds me, “Do not wear yourself out to get rich: have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”
Financial wealth is one of life’s many false idols, perhaps even the greatest one. I try to remind myself of that as I remember the events of 9/11 and as I watch each stock tick, ticker away…