ever play that game where you are asked a series of questions like ” if you could be a car would you be a . . . or a . . . ? if you could be an animal would you be a . . . or a . . . ? Well, if you had to choose between being a skyscraper or being a bridge, what would you choose? Skyscrapers stand out and get a lot of attention. They are noticed and they are named. They become famous landmarks of the land they tower over. People even travel great distances just to see them and to take their picture. Skyscrapers are nothing new or modern. We have been building skyscrapers since the days after Noah and his family survived the flood. Remember the tower of Babel? And why were the people building this tower? to make a name for themselves. Just like the skyscraper they were building, they wanted to be famous. That is the nature of a skyscraper. Ironically, our quest to search out skyscrapers usually involves travel over bridges of some kind at some point.
So what about bridges you ask? Some of them are famous and some of them have names as well. I like the definition of bridge that reads, “something that is intended to reconcile or form a connection between two things”. I found this Hindi definition of bridge to be quite telling; it states, “something that fills in the gap between two people or things, acts as a connection between them, makes it easier for the differences or disagreements between them to be reduced or overcome.”
A noble purpose for sure. We’ve all heard the expression, “bridging the gap.” And there are certainly a lot of gaps in my life and in the life of the culture that we live our daily lives in that need bridging — big time. Bridges enable us to get from point A to point B; they provide the necessary connection. Some distances that need “bridging” are greater than others; some are physical distances, while some are distances of the heart, resulting in distances in my relationships with others with whom I long to be connected. But all bridges are vital to those that depend on them. Would I want to be a bridge? Bridges get walked on and worn out.
Skyscrapers get admired. They stand out and make a name for themselves. They compete with each other for the honor of being the tallest. Sure they sometimes block out the sun (and also the sunrise and sunset) obstructing our view of the horizon, but does that matter? We have to navigate our way around them, they are an obstruction in our path. A bridge, on the other hand, provides a path for us, connecting us to where we want to be.
So I can’t avoid the fact that I’m called to be a bridge. To stand in the gap, or more accurately to lay down in the gap, in order to provide a way of connection. To be a bridge is to lay down not to rise up. When I elevate myself, I become a barrier when what is needed is a bridge. We are in need of bridges everywhere. Bridges are needed in my workplace, my church, my neighborhood, my family . . . there are too many barriers and not nearly enough bridges as it stands now.
This means every morning when I rise up, I have to purposefully lay my life back down again lest I become a barrier instead of a bridge. The world tells me to stand up, to stand up for myself, to make a name for myself. But I think of John the Baptist’s words in John 3:30, “He (Jesus) must become greater; I must become less.”
Jesus is the ultimate, eternal bridge for me and for you for all time. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ ” (John 14:6) Jesus came to provide me with the way to God that I sought but could not find. The tallest skyscraper man can build (even the tower of Babel, which they wanted to reach the heavens) cannot get me close enough to reach heaven or to know God.
As it turns out, I don’t need a skyscraper to reach heaven or to know God, I need a bridge; something or someone to provide me with the connection that I seek. Jesus is my connection, He is my bridge. He is the One who reconciles me to my Creator. Just like in the Hindi definition of bridge, Jesus has overcome the differences and disagreements between a sinful me and a Holy God. And He is still actively bridging the gap for me! ” . . . Christ Jesus, who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Romans 8:34) He is daily pleading my case for me with God!
It is Jesus who takes away my desire to be a skyscraper and gives me the ability to be a bridge. He shows me how to lay down my life each day and be a bridge because He did it first. Jesus said, “The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down My life — only to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father.” (John 10:17-18)
My culture tells me, “don’t be a doormat, don’t let people walk all over you!” well, in John 10:9 Jesus says, “I am the door; if any one enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” So if in order to enter in at “the Door” that leads to eternal life, people have to walk on me to access the door, (after all, that’s the purpose of a doormat, isn’t it?) then I have served God’s higher purpose for me by laying down rather than rising up.
Lord, let me be a bridge that leads people to You. Bridges get walked on, that is their sole purpose. May I lay down in the gap and allow souls to find You by being the bridge along their broken road, the connection over their chasm, which separates them from You and Your love for them. Every day when I rise, help me to lay down my life in Your service.
sincerely, Grace Day
2 thoughts on “skyscraper or bridge?”
You are truly gifted by God to help us see the every day thing in a new light. I will never look at a skyscraper or a bridge and not think of this ! I want to be a bridge too!
Love this! I want to be a bridge too!