“Cross This Bridge at a Walk”
September 1, 2016
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Covered bridges built a century ago or more still take traffic across streams and rivers throughout our country. These bridges are a nostalgic part of the countryside. Tourist oriented organizations or local governments encourage a covered bridge tour in their area with maps and information.
Many of the bridges have the intriguing words “Cross This Bridge at a Walk” painted on both ends. In the horse and buggy days there was a concern that vibrations from the pounding rhythm of horse hooves could damage the bridges. Soldiers would also break cadence when crossing the bridges to prevent harmful vibrations.
“Cross This Bridge at a Walk” reminded folks to slow down when they traveled over the bridge. The message is good for us today too, even though we might not be crossing a covered bridge.
Living in the fast paced world as we do, the reminder to slow our pace is a good one, and we have a number of sayings that remind us to do so. “Haste makes waste,” and “Stop and smell the roses” are examples. Then there’s Simon and Garfunkel‘s song “59th Bridge Street Song (Feelin‘ Groovy).” The lyrics go like this, “Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last.”
Sometimes when I’m walking by a rosebush I’ll actually stop to smell it. I do this not only to enjoy the fragrance but to remind myself to slow down and embrace the moment. We too easily rush from yesterday into today and on to tomorrow. The amazing, intriguing, beautiful, and often important details go by in an indistinguishable blur.
Developing and deepening relationships also require a slowing of pace; you can’t rush relationships. Then too, our relationship with God is best nurtured by slowing enough to hear His still, small voice and to discern His presence that is often missed when we are rushing.
“Cross This Bridge at a Walk” was a good reminder in bygone days for those crossing a covered bridge. “Take This Day at a Walk” is a good paraphrase that we can and should apply to today!
“I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself…” (Psalm 131:1b-2a)