It’s the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere — the sixth tallest in the world…
I remember seeing One World Trade Center — also known as the Freedom Tower — four months after it opened in November of 2014. So much about its construction and characteristics were so incredibly, intentionally designed [as described by the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, “Reader’s Digest” and “Just Fun Facts”]:
It has the same name as the North Tower of the original World Trade Center.
The cornerstone was laid on the fourth of July.
The building has a cubic base and its edges form eight isosceles triangles. Near its middle, the tower forms a perfect octagon.
It stands 1776 feet tall — same as the year the Declaration of Independence was signed.
It occupies a 200-foot square, with an area of 40,000 square feet, nearly identical to the Twin Towers.
It contains 49,000 cubic yards of concrete, enough to pave more than 200 miles of NYC sidewalks. [Note: 200 miles approximates to 4,000 New York City blocks.]
The structure and interior is built from recycled materials, including gypsum boards and ceiling tiles; around 80% of the tower’s waste products are recycled.
It has 103 floors, 71 of which are office space.
There are 71 elevators — with five express elevators having a top speed of more than 23 miles per hour. That means that an elevator can go from the ground floor to the 102nd floor in just 60 seconds!
The observation deck begins at 1,362 feet, and a glass parapet extends to 1,368 feet — the exact height of the South and North Towers.
Adjacent to the building, are two large square pools — each with a waterfall — standing in the exact spots of the twin towers; every one of the victims’ names of 9/11 is inscribed on the sides of the pools.
It took four years to plan and over seven years to actually build. When I think of all the intentionality invested in that design, I stand in awe. It’s impossible not to acknowledge the creativity of those who created it.
And yet… if we’re honest… the Freedom Tower and its constructional peers are not the most intricate nor elaborate creations on the planet.
Everything has a creator, friends. As a wise friend demonstrated for me recently, you can’t take a box of Legos, shake them together for a while, and have some marvelous creation come out. There is an inherent intentionality that exists.
So why do we believe that the most complex thing in the universe happened by chance?
The most complex thing in the universe is you and me.
I realize that sometimes we have trouble seeing God, his presence, and role. Sometimes we confuse man-made religion with following him. Sometimes people get in the way. Sometimes it’s an emotion or a circumstance that gets in the way for us. Sometimes it’s science — although I love what brilliant, widely-respected NASA scientist Dr. Robert Jastrow once said, “Science doesn’t disprove God; it simply explains how God did what he did”… it explains how he created the most complex thing in the universe.
Friends, let me be sensitive to the struggles each of us have had in our unbelief; no doubt this is a journey. But if we can stand in awe of the creators of a symbolic, beautiful building, let self and individual struggle not keep us from an acknowledgement of the only one actually capable of designing you and me.
Let me say once more, it is a journey. There’s a ton of growth and grace in that journey… intentionality, too.