Page 325 was the end of ICOM 2016 and the day to travel home. After a week of long days both getting ready for and being at ICOM, this page is being written the following morning as my mind needed to rest after I got home. After taking the display down the night before, I slept in a little bit before heading down for breakfast to begin my day. The forecast for the trip home was cold but sunny, so after breakfast I went online to see about photo opportunities on the way home. As I did so, I discovered a cluster of covered bridges between Cincinnati and Indianapolis, so I jotted down their names and soon set off to see what I could find. As I traveled, the entire day was a day of worship as I sang along with praise songs on the radio and marveled at the incredible beauty God set before me throughout the trip.
One of the bridges that I stopped at, while having a walkway along one side, was not designed for the typical bridge traffic. Instead, it was built to carry the water of the Whitewater Canal over a stream that fed into the Whitewater River. I didn’t think about it until I was going through the photos or I would have turned a little more to the right when taking today’s photo, but there were three different bridges designed for different modes of transportation that were crossing this stream at this particular place. Most visible in the photo are the canal bridge and the railroad bridge with the road bridge railing peaking into the edge of the photo. While I don’t know the order in which the bridges were built, people evidently decided that all three were necessary to accomplish the transportation needs that existed.
Knowing the nature of people, I did have to wonder if anyone objected to building another bridge when there was already one in existence. I can almost hear the possible conversation. “We’re here today seeking approval to build another bridge that will cross Duck Creek.” “But there’s already a bridge there.” “Yes, but this will allow another mode of transportation to carry goods and people across the creek.” “I’m not in favor! We already have a good bridge! If people want to cross the creek they should use the means we’ve already provided for or they can go somewhere else!” “But this will simply expand our ability to serve more people according to their needs.” “Well, I think the area is getting crowded the way it is. Who knows what we’ll end up with if we help even more people to come through here.” “We’ll end up with more work and the potential for growth.” “Well, I still don’t like it. This old bridge has been good enough for me and should be good enough for anyone else that wants to pass through.”
Does the story sound familiar yet? Yes, Jesus is the only way to the Father and our message must never waver from the truth of God’s word, but sometimes we become convinced that our method of travel along that path is good enough for us and should be good enough for anyone else. In doing so, we lose sight of the differences that exist among people and end up excluding them from the path of God simply because they are not equipped to travel it in the exact same manner as we do. It is interesting to note that only one of the three bridges appear to still be in use — at least for its intended purpose — yet down through the years, the purpose of getting goods and people across the creek has been accomplished by different methods that each served a specific purpose.
I pray that you and I would comprehend and not forget the lesson of the three bridges. I pray that we would understand the difference between our one true message and the different means of transportation that can carry people to the foot of the cross. I pray that we would always seek ways to help people walk in “The Way” according to their needs and abilities.