There are all shapes and sizes of bridges in the world. They take us from all kinds of places to all kinds of purposes. But there is one bridge which stands alone. Stands for all others. It calls for the trip from birth to death we all must travel. It’s the bridge called life.
Here’s the thing about this bridge. While we’re all traveling on it at the very same time – the young and the old, the just born and the soon to die – our footsteps are walking different parts of it. The journey for those of us at the front end is new and long. The journey for those at the back end is older and shorter.
Which helps explain why we can see and talk with one another on this bridge, yet cannot quite share the passage in exactly the same way. Sometimes we call this the generation gap between us. Or perhaps simply the years between us. Those on the front end have the energy and the zest those on the back end have yielded up. Of course, in the yielding it’s hoped there’s been some gaining as well.
There’s something each traveler has to offer the others may lack. As the Bible puts it: Young men see visions; old men dream dreams. And lets remember visions and dreams are equally vital. Equally efficacious. A fact youngsters may have trouble with when it has to do with their parents and teachers. At the same time it’s a fact elders may have trouble with when it comes to the youth culture in which they find themselves.
Maybe it all simmers down to this pregnant notion of “now.” We’re a very now-society. Living in the “now” has a great appeal to Americans. However, no “now” stands by itself. No “now” is all there is. The exalted carpe-diem “now” is only one in a series of “now’s” that make up this bridge.
Think of it this way. Whether our “nows” are many at the front end of the bridge or few at the other end, there’s a fact and a force that binds and bonds us all here. A shared understanding that the bridge-builder didn’t promise us an easy trip; but he did promise us – young and old alike – a safe arrival.
An unspoken covenant that exists with the first hesitant steps we take on the bridge; later with our last faltering steps as well. Perhaps the only ones who can really see this would be the astronauts. But lets not wait to get up there and see for ourselves. For now, how wise of us down here to start traveling this bridge right!
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