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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)

TITLE: Bridge of Insanity
By Norm MacDonald
08/01/08


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Bridge of Insanity

Looking like some long forgotten architectural accident, it spanned the mighty Columbia River with about as much majesty as a junked car. Nothing about this bridge seemed to fit. The narrow lanes claimed to accommodate traffic flowing in each direction, but I would highly doubt the distance between passing cars would allow for the proverbial piece of paper to be slipped between them. It was even said that semis could pass without concern. But I would not tell that to the big rig captain driving in the opposite direction of the on-coming tanker.

The steel seemed out of character for a bridge. I’m certain, in its day; there were many that offered praise and adoration for this new river crossing. But to look at it, one would wonder - Did someone actually design this thing?

Hugging the traffic lanes were sidewalks. At least they called them sidewalks. They appeared to be two feet high and three feet across. In reality, if anyone actually dared walk on them from one side of the river to the other, it was only those with a sincere wish for suicide. The truth of the matter, these concrete paths were nothing more than barriers - a sadistic method of bumper bowling with cars using concrete instead of inflated bladders to keep vehicles from plunging into the water below. More than anyone could count tire marks scarred the concrete “sidewalk” reminiscent of a just-completed NASCAR race at Talladega. Since cell phones were not invented yet, the only reasons for leaving one’s mark on the wall was sheer stupidity, a severe lack of driving skill, or uncontrollable terror.

But – and it’s a big but – for a teenage kid with a driver’s license and raging testosterone, this bridge was the ultimate challenge. The challenge was not to get across the all-too-narrow bridge with the ink yet to dry on one’s license. The challenge was to see how far you could drive with your eyes closed and not hit anything.

Yes, this poor fool had many attempts at said ridiculous stunt. But the rush it offered was unsurpassed.

The fact of the matter is I approached much of my young life in that fashion. Head on, reckless abandon and full speed ahead was the only way to go, or so it seemed.

Now I am well past those years and that level of ridiculous behavior. Give me a bridge wide enough to drive an unruly herd of cattle across. Give me the kind of bridge that cries out, “This is a feat of architectural wonder!” Show me a bridge that defies the person driving across it to even think they are on a bridge and not some superhighway in Wyoming.That’s the kind of bridge I want – low risk, can’t-see-over-the-side kind of bridge.

Despite what I have learned about bridges, it seems that may cautionary tactics have spilled over in the way I live my life for Christ. I want safe, sure, and low risk living. Don’t ask me to push the edge of the envelope because that is not what God has “called” me to do.

The reality is God asks me to push the edge of the envelope every day. Without question He has called me – all of us for that matter – to life on the edge. An abundant life that knows no limits and is not hedged in by concrete belief systems that neutralize my ability to serve Him by faith, not by sight.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 08/08/08
I had to smile at your phrases, "some long forgotten architectural accident" and "as much majesty as a junked car." :) I totally enjoyed your humor! Your message at the end was perfect.
Marilyn Schnepp 08/09/08
Such a well defined and discriptive view of a bridge -and depicted in such a way that one can almost see, feel and touch this scenic bridge that is obviously an "eye sore" and not exactly one of the 7 wonders of the world. Nicely done, and an enjoyable read with an obvious point well taken. Good job.
Joshua Janoski08/10/08
You took something as simple and boring as an ugly bridge and you turned it into a very meaningful piece. I enjoyed your descriptions of the bridge and also the lesson being taught. An enjoyable read.