I looked out the window with a bit of confusion as paper fluttered down from the sky. Working on the twentieth floor of an office building in downtown New York City, I didn’t often see objects fall from above. I stood up from my desk, moved to another room where I had a better view ... and gasped in horror at the gaping, burning hole I saw in the side of the World Trade Center’s North Tower.
Thus began one of the most consequential days of my life. When the Twin Towers fell on September 11, the world changed—and so did I. Up to that point I was in no rush to do anything significant or meaningful. I had intended to go into ministry since I was a boy, but after graduating from college and acquiring a well-paying job in Manhattan, I became comfortable. I was succeeding tremendously at work, and I clearly had a future in the company. Overall I was secure.
When the second plane flew into the South Tower before my eyes, that sense of security shattered. I remember distinctly wondering what would happen next. How could we recover from this? As the Towers toppled, I knew New York would never be the same, and it wasn’t. Little did I know, I would never be the same either.
The Monday after the Towers fell I returned to work, but a part of me never went back—the part that felt comfortable, the part that felt secure. I looked around the office and saw things with new eyes. The job paid well and it had a future—but it wasn’t my future. I knew the Lord had called me to something more. There was no true security—no true value—in what I was doing. September 11 was a wake-up call, a reminder that life is more than work, more than comfort, more than money. I realized that, like the World Trade Center, everything I considered important at that time could disappear without a moment’s notice. It was at that point that I decided to come to Dallas Seminary.
September 11 was one of our nation’s greatest tragedies, and the people who died in that catastrophic event will always be remembered and mourned. However, that day was also a great motivation for change in our country, and much good has come out of that great evil. Although I will always remember and mourn the tragedy that was September 11, I am nonetheless thankful for the motivation for change it provided me. As I go from Dallas Theological Seminary into ministry, my prayer is that the Lord might use me to accomplish good for His sake and for His name.
Ryan (Th.M., 2007) and his wife Laura currently live in Dallas and work at the Dallas Seminary Book Center while they search for the ministry God has planned for them.
The mission of Dallas Theological Seminary is to
glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders
for the proclamation of His Word and the
building up of the body of Christ worldwide.