Infrastructure spending is a big-ticket item for governments. Public transit, airports, roads, bridges, tunnels, sewers, dams and much, much more, fall under the infrastructure umbrella. Infrastructure is the framework – the facilities and systems used and taken-for-granted every day by people in a functioning society.
Cash-strapped, in-debt governments often post-pone spending on long-term, non-glamourous infrastructure projects – favouring heart-throb projects, that garner immediate applause. And then a disaster occurs. A tunnel caves in. A bridge collapses. A dam breaks. People and politicians then rally to vault infrastructure spending to the top of the priority list. It’s not uncommon for that intensity to fizzle and fade all too quickly.
American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) has found that 54,259 bridges across the U.S. are rated “structurally deficient”. Placed end-to-end, they would stretch 1,216 miles (1957 kilometers) -almost the distance between New York City and Miami. Americans cross those crumbling bridges 174 million times daily and the average age of a structurally deficient bridge is 67 years. (1)
One-third of Canada’s 75,000 highway bridges have structural or functional deficiencies and a short remaining service life. With 20 million light vehicles, 750,000 trucks and 15,000 public transit buses using Canadian bridges annually, they are essential for the efficient movement of commercial goods within the country and across international borders. (2)
Infrastructure of Life
But there’s a type of infrastructure far more relevant to your life and mine than roads, bridges, and sewers. While you pursue your goals, have you ever thought about the underpinnings of your life and just how secure you really are should your infrastructure collapse?
Many tenaciously pursue their aspirations, their careers, their financial investments, and their leisure – just assuming they are on solid footing – should something unexpected happen. Others have a nagging fear that their spiritual infrastructure may be deficient. However, in the absence of an obvious vulnerability or immediate threat, they find no compelling reason to suspend everything else to address their under-lying fear.
Date of Last Inspection
Are you 100% sure you are safe continuing to live life the way you are currently? If today were your very last day on earth, are you certain everything will work out just fine? Are you confident your ‘bridge’ will take you to the other side? You have no questions? No unease? No vulnerabilities?
Jesus told the story of two men – one who was confident in his own goodness, generosity, and religiosity. The other was overwhelmed by his personal deficiency. The latter faced his serious situation and called out to God for mercy. Jesus made it clear – only this man was justified or made right with God. The man who was confident of his own righteousness was the tragic loser. (Luke 18:9-14)
Another man, Jesus referenced, trusted in his riches and was confident about his future. But, the very night he was finalizing his retirement plans and his future, he found out it was to be his very last night on earth. What a shocker! (Luke 12:16-21) Filthy rich, but dirt poor when it came to God.
Nicodemus was a good-living, respectable elder who was sincere in his religion, devout in his prayers and was an outstanding example to others. Religion was his life. But when he found Jesus, he shockingly discovered that ‘his bridge’ would never get him to Heaven – never get him to God. Jesus emphatically told him: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
When it comes to a bridge to take us across the canyon between ourselves and God, the Bible knows of only one safe and secure way. Every other bridge ultimately ends in eternal disaster. It’s hard for us to understand just how deep the canyon is and how wide. The Bible says that sin has separated us from God. (Isaiah 59:2)
Regarding the above attempts to build a bridge to God, the Bible rules out every such attempt and points to only one way to bridge the gap.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)
Romans Chapter 3 is one of those must-read chapters in the Holy Bible if one is searching for God. Using vivid imagery, it summarizes how God sees the human heart regardless of religion, lifestyle or beliefs. After an indisputable conclusion that we are all sinners and unable to bring ourselves to God, the bridge to God is made clear. Here is a snippet from that chapter in an easy-to-read translation:
But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him… (22) We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. (23) For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (24) Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. (25) For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood…. (26) …God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He Himself is fair and just, and He declares sinners to be right in His sight when they believe in Jesus. (27) Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. (28) So, we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law… (30) There is only one God, and He makes people right with Himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles… Romans 3:21-31 NLT
Paul Simon’s lyrics Bridge over Troubled Waters was recorded by Simon & Garfunkle in November 1969 and it became their #1 hit.
The spiritual infrastructure you need for this life and into eternity – is the Lord Jesus Christ. Every other bridge will fall short, crumble, and crash, resulting in eternal disaster.