It’s over 50 years since Simon & Garfunkle released their most popular song Bridge over Troubled Water. But right now, their song is so relevant to all of us. Perhaps we never thought of it as their ‘infrastructure’ song.
We usually think of airports, roads, bridges, tunnels, internet, and sewers as elements of the critical infrastructure of society. We take it all for granted until there’s an interruption or a disaster. But when our own lives are threatened and profound loss seems imminent, the very infrastructure of one’s life comes into sharp focus.
As important as infrastructure is to our economy and to society, many people during the COVID-19 pandemic are more concerned about the infrastructure of their lives.
Usually, infrastructure funding is vaulted to 1st priority after a disaster strikes – a tunnel caves in, a bridge collapses or a dam breaks. Once the shock dissipates and public attention shifts, it’s not uncommon for the intensity to rapidly fizzle and fade. Until the next tragedy happens.
The same dangerous phenomenon could happen with the concerns over the infrastructure of our lives. Right now, we’re focused. But, all we need is one bright ray of hope to distract us from continuing to think about the reliability of our bridge to get us to the other side. When the threat subsides, we resume normal living and the deep thoughts vanish.
It’s a dangerous cycle.
Are you thinking about the underpinnings of your life should things collapse around you? When you look beyond and across – how secure is your bridge?
Simon & Garfunkle released their #1 hit Bridge Over Troubled Water on January 20, 1970. Over 50 artists have recorded their song. Many of them are no longer with us – they encountered the troubled waters of death including Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley.
Many pursue their aspirations, their careers, and their leisure – just assuming they’re 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 immediate threat, they’re not motivated to go deep. They slap on a fresh coat of paint over the seriously compromised structural aspects of their life – i.e. their relationship with God.
Are you 100% sure you are safe continuing to live life the way you are right now? 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?
Is your water troubled just now?
Jesus talked about a man whose bridge seemed to be his success and good fortune. But the very night he was finalizing his retirement plans and his future, he unexpectedly hit troubled waters and died. What a shocker! (Luke 12:16-21) His bridge in life led only to disaster at death.
Nicodemus was a good-living man. Religion had defined his life until he met Jesus. Then, he shockingly discovered that his bridge – religion – would never get him to Heaven. 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.
Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Every other bridge ultimately ends in eternal disaster. It’s hard for us to understand just how deep and wide the canyon is and how troubled the waters are. The Bible says that sin has separated us from God. (Isaiah 59:2)
Regarding the 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)
Romans Chapter 3 is one of those must-read chapters in the Holy Bible when you discover your need for a safe bridge. 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. [Editor’s Note: Jesus Christ is the only bridge to God.] 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…. Romans 3:21-25 NLT
The spiritual infrastructure you need for this life and into eternity – is the Lord Jesus Christ. Every other bridge will fall short and collapse into eternal disaster. Talk to those whose bridge is Christ alone. They are as vulnerable to COVID-19 and death as anyone else – yet, they daily experience peace, knowing their Bridge to the other side is safe and secure. There are no deficiencies or decay in Jesus Christ!
Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6