It is certainly the talk of the day as you went to bed last night or woke up this morning regarding the section of the I-85 bridge that burned and collapsed last evening. Thankfully there were no reported injuries. The talk is especially centered around the traffic issues that will result because of this…which isn’t new in Atlanta. But this will make matters much worse for the foreseeable future. Apparently, more than 225,000 vehicles pass over this area daily which now means they all have to take another route—-more traffic issues in a city that is ranked having the fourth worse traffic in the United States. That will make it difficult for a lot of people.
And there are already the humorists who are giving their perspective as in “Sherman is back burning Atlanta.”But it is a difficult situation and affects thousands of people.
There is an old quip that relates which says that we occasionally will have to “burn our bridges behind us.” It is used in many different ways but is usually associated with not retreating. If soldiers cross a bridge and then the commander has it burned, then there is no retreat and no escape. You can speculate on that and come up with many different positive as well as negative scenarios.
As followers of Christ, there is a sense in which we have “burned our bridges.” The disciples did as they “left all to follow Him.” Many missionaries and martyrs have left all in order to follow Christ. They “burned bridges.”
The concept can be taken further as you consider what Paul said in Philippians 3:13, "Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead."
We all need to forget! Paul did not allow his past accomplishments [see Phil. 3:4-6] or even past failures [a persecutor of the church] become a hindrance in His pursuit of Christlikeness. Our accomplishments can make us proud. Our failures can drag us to the depths of despondency. Neither accomplish God’s purpose in our lives. And neither pride or despondency are a proper response to the grace of God.
Perhaps today you need to “burn a bridge” related to your past. If you are arrogant, then confession of pride is needed and a return to true humility. If you are struggling because of your past and perhaps have asked God for forgiveness, you need to accept the forgiveness of God. If you are holding a grudge and being unforgiving of another, that too is a part of your past that you need to let go of and extend forgiveness “as you have been forgiven.”
In a sense you can burn the bridges to your past. You don’t need to, neither should you continually return to those places of sin, pride and unforgiveness.
If you are affected by the burned bridge in Atlanta, I don’t envy your scenario. But you can let the images you will see of that burning bridge remind you that because of the grace of God, you do not have to return to or live in the past.
Burn your bridge today!
Dr. Wynne Kimbrough is the editor of this resource.
Some of the articles are written by him, others are found and shared with permission from the original authors, some of who wish to remain anonymous.
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