Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Bridge

Once upon a time there was a man out for a hike in the mountains. He walked through the forest, and kept climbing till finally he passed the timberline and crested out on top of a high, rocky plateau. He had a magnificent view—evergreen carpeted valleys below him, snow-crested peaks shimmering against a pale blue sky above him.

As he continued to walk, he came to a canyon. He looked over the edge and saw that it was so deep that the sunlight didn't reach the bottom. Hundreds of feet below there was a river, but it looked like a little silver thread.

He followed a path along the edge of the canyon for a while, until he came to a wooden bridge spanning the canyon. A dirt road meandered up from the forest to the bridge, and then continued on the other side.

The man wanted to cross over, but the bridge looked old and flimsy. It had no guard rails, and though it seemed well-made, some of the bottom boards were missing. He could look down into the canyon and see birds flying below him.

The man’s palms were sweating, just to think of setting foot on the bridge. Maybe it was sturdy enough to carry his weight, maybe not. Finally, heart hammering in his chest, he decided he would attempt to cross. He got down on his hands and knees, hoping that if he distributed his weight a little better, he’d have a better chance of making it.

So he crawled. It was just as well, because his arms and legs were shaking so badly, he probably couldn't have stood to walk anyway. Gingerly, afraid that any minute he might put his knee or hand through a rotten board and fall through, he inched his way across. Sweat poured off him and his shirt was soaked, even though it was a cool day. He could feel the bridge sway slightly with his weight, and when it did he would close his eyes, tense all his muscles and pray under his breath. “Oh, God, please help me…”

Finally he made it across. He collapsed, grateful for solid ground. After a minute he pulled himself to his feet, staggered over to a big rock and sat down. He was exhausted.

Then he heard a noise. Across the canyon where he had just been, winding up the road, came a truck carrying a load of lumber. It was traveling pretty fast for a dirt road. As it approached the canyon, he could see the driver, an older man, steering with one hand.

The driver never even paused when he got to the bridge. He floored it, spraying dust and gravel behind him, and roared across the bridge. He waved and winked at the hiker as he sped by.

The story of the bridge makes me think about being a Christian, and being sure of getting to heaven. Two questions come to mind:
  • If the bridge is our salvation, is it better to cross like the hiker, or like the man in the truck?
  • Did the manner of crossing the bridge affect how stable it was? out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13