Bridge repair in life and love

Bridge to Ave Maria Chapel

I’ve got some good news for those who frequently visit the Catholic Conference Center. The bridge on Greedy Highway is back in operation! It’s wider, safer, and will save about 10-15 minutes driving to the center. 

It’s been out of service for eight months, damaged from the floods last Fall. During those eight months my drive to work involved taking a winding, two-lane road on the far side of Baker Mountain. It was a beautiful drive through pastoral scenes. I could see the Blue Ridge mountains in the distance. Rather than enjoying the scenery during the longer commute, however, I was more focused on seeing my desk and ending this extra-long 50-minute commute.

What’s a little embarrassing is that even though the bridge was repaired two weeks ago, I absentmindedly chose the much longer route home four times. Both new and old habits die hard.

I see a few lessons on life and love as I drive across the new bridge: 

  • Bridges from time to time need to be repaired. These include the bridges on the highways but more importantly, the bridges that span the fissures that sometimes form between relationships. 
  • Life becomes much more difficult once a bridge is damaged. The damage may be from gradual deterioration or flood waters spewing out of some regrettable moment.
  • Bridge repair takes time. While going through the tedious and sometimes humbling task of repairing a damaged relationship, it is easy to get frustrated with the process, focusing on the impossibly far-off destination and overlooking the journey. It’s much better to enjoy the change in scenery along the way and admire God’s reconciling power.  
  • Old habits die hard. After the bridge is repaired, avoid traveling down the same old path. Stay out of relationship ‘autopilot’. 
  • A ‘relationship bridge’ that has been repaired is wider and better able to safely handle the flow of love and communication between two people.

The pictures are of another bridge, one that spans the little creek between the Ave Maria Chapel and the main center. It collapsed a few weeks ago. We repaired it last week. Metaphorically, it might reveal a little about my relationship with the Lord – broken in places, sagging in others. As I look at the repaired bridge, I get a better visual of how I desire the pathway between me and the Lord to be – smooth, inviting, and able to handle two-way traffic. 

What bridges in your life need a little repair?