Summary: Biblical application of what happens when a bridge collapses, Jesus is the only bridge we can ever have to get us to heaven.
I-35 is major north-south running expressway that connects cities as far south as San Antonio to locales in the Great White North such as Duluth, Minnesota. If you have ever traveled through our neighboring city of KC, you have probably driven on it. But if you have ever been around the city of Minneapolis, I would suggest that you to stay clear of this highway, or at least her major bridge, known simply as Bridge 9340.
The I-35W Mississippi River bridge was an 8 lane steel truss arch bridge completed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation back in 1967. It bridge was almost 2000 feet long, carried around 144,00 vehicles daily, and could be seen by campus students at the University of Minnesota.
Tragically, at 6:05pm on the summer evening of August 1, 2007, the bridge collapsed, and lives were put in danger. The deck crashed into the river, in same cases dropping cars as much as 25 meters straight down. Around 100 vehicles and their riders, as well as 18 construction workers, were tossed into either the roaring river or to a stranded postion on a collapsed piece of steel or concrete that collapsed during the fall.
Many people were saved as they sat stranded on some cracked sections of the bridge, some autos caught fire including a large truck. In what could be a script written for the movie screen, a school bus carrying 60 children ended up trapped in between a guardrail and a burning semi. In that particular situation, 20 year old youth worker Jeremy Hernandez took a couple of dozen walloping kicks to knock out the rear emergency exit and carried fearful children to safety.
What happened? After months of investigation, all the assumed factors had been ruled out. There was no water erosion. There was no earthquake. Terrorism was ruled out. I’m sure some conspiracy buffs somehow blamed it either on the President or the Governor of Minnesota, but there of course was not truth in that. Instead, investigators discovered that the “gusset plates,” the large steel sheets that are used to connect support beams to the structure, were simply too small. Because of their lack of size, these weak plates could not hold up during times of extreme weight. It seems to someone like me who lacks the engineering know-how to build such a structure, that the bridge itself was made out of shoddy materials—not solid like a rock.
How strong is your bridge? John 14:6 has an interesting and powerful quote written by Jesus in that He states, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” In this simple, yet powerful verse, the Bible tells us that the only “bridge” that connects mankind to God Almighty is the bridge that Jesus provides through his death on the cross. Every time I turn on the TV, I see another movie, or another show with some character promoting some spiritual value that he or she believes in earnestly. But when I read the scriptures carefully, I determine that even though their spiritual beliefs might be as strong as monster truck, they are ultimately on a weak bridge in Minnesota which is about to collapse.
My advice to all who are seeking spiritual direction, use the Bible as your road map, and choose Jesus.
The world breathes a fond farewell today for one of Idaho state’s most famous residents, 93 year old Richard Zimmerman. He is known better by the name, “The Salmon River Caveman.” This old timer decidedly chose to spend his entire life living off the land, specifically, in caves. Drawn to the remote regions of the vast expanse, Zimmerman never owned a television, phone, computer, a calculator or any type of electronic devise. Hard to imagine isn’t it?
During his lifetime, he was interviewed by various media sources, was shown in the National Geographic, and refused a handful of attempts made by Jay Leno to make an appearance. “Dugout Dick” as he is referred to by friends, said “I have everything here. I got lots of rocks and rubber tires. I have plenty of straw and fruit and vegetables, my dog and my cat and my guitars. I make wine to cook with. There’s nothing I really need.” He was able to make a little money by renting one of the more than 60 caves he inhabited by renting them out for $2 a night, though he admits his goal was “never meant to build an apartment house.”
Zimmerman is just one of many mountain men who roamed the territory since the 1980’s. Others go by the names Cougar Dave, Beaver Dick, Buckskin Bill, Free Press Frances, and Wheelbarrow Annie, each wanting to live separate and a way from society—all within the confines of their own eccentric world of one. Though life this way seems to sound exciting and noble in its rugged individualism, it also has the awkward feel of that famous Beatles song, you know the one, “Nowhere Man.” Dugout Dick does not have a point of view, knew not where he’s going to, and made all of his nowhere plans for nobody.