Many springs ago on a melting Saturday afternoon, I was hiking doggedly behind my ever more energetic brothers, through the soggy northern Ontario bush.
The trek became much more exciting as we came upon a gushing flooding stream. The banks were steep, about 10 – 15 feet above the water. Of course, the other side is where older brother wanted to be.
Clambering along the bank we came to what was needed; a way across! A rather old log, less than 10 inches in diameter had been dropped across the 20 foot span.
Now I did not consider myself any less brave than the rest and I wanted just as badly to be on the other side, but the log was an old dead tree – and not very straight nor strong looking.
Negotiation was out of the question as the first brother made it half way on his feet before sinking to sitting position and shimmying the remainder on the seat of his pants.
Now there was no stopping them – that was the way we all had to go. We were too far on our hike to turn around – the other side of the river was now miles closer to the car.
Their shouts of encouragement were barely audible over the roar of the foaming ice water rapids below as I carefully inched my way out on to the log.
There is a much greater canyon to be crossed by us all. It is the gulf of sin that separates us from our Heavenly Father.
Many hesitate – rationalizing the need to make the trip.
Some are offended that the only bridge is an old tree – the cross of Calvary.
Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me.” We can try many other ways to be right with God but there is only one – the way of the cross.
We don’t have to die on it – Jesus did that, but we must believe and then obey what Jesus taught.
This Easter season can be extra special for you – the year that you crossed that bridge!
By the way, I made it across the log. My brothers probably don’t remember the incident quite the way I do, but then again they did not hug that log for as long and as hard as I did.
The Reverend Paul Stade is with the Kitimat First Baptist Church