On Sunday, we loaded up in the jeep to go exploring the trails around the corner from our house. It’s one of our favorite things to do when the weather is bearable outside in Texas.
But things are changing in our neck of the woods.
As soon as we entered the trail, we noticed that instead of branches, rocks and wildflowers, there was a gravel trail. That gravel trail led to diggers and porta-potties. There is construction everywhere! I have no idea why they are building roads down in the corp land, but they are. We drove along the gravel road until it ended where they are constructing a big bridge and we couldn’t go any further.
We grabbed our gear and took off exploring into the woods.
That bearable weather? It gets hot in a hurry. So we decided to ask our dear friends at google to guide us to the stream. Thankfully they obliged and we followed the tiny green stream until it became the big clear(er) stream. The boys and I quickly went splashing in, only to realize that Scott didn’t have his boots, only his good tennis shoes. So in order for us to keep moving forward together across the stream, we needed to build a bridge.
That was a bigger process than we expected it to be.
First, we found a log that was big enough and luckily it was on Scott’s side of the river. So he had to climb down to dislodge it and push it out into the creek so it would float over to us. Then Noah and I caught it, but with the water rushing against it, it was heavier than expected. It took quite a bit of heave-hoing to get it going the right direction. Finally, we enlisted Oakley to stand on one end to give us leverage to lift it over to the other side. And we did it!
We built a bridge.
We added some extra logs and debris to help hold it in place and Scott was able to easily run across without sinking in the quicksand type of mud on the banks of the river. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t necessarily fun. But it worked.
We were able to continue on, together.
As I get older and look at life through more reflective lenses, I’m realizing that we miss a lot of opportunities to build bridges. When we cross a river that’s difficult to cross, we don’t realize how many others we could bring along. When they say, “Just go on, I’m fine here.” We think it’s because they are fine, but often it’s because they can’t see a clear path to cross. So often, we just go on, not realizing the opportunity for connection and life we left behind.
What if we leveraged the experience of the group to build a bridge instead?
What if we decided it is worth it to get a little sweaty and dirty in our efforts to help someone cross a river we’ve already learned how to cross?
What if we spent our lives building bridges in our families, our friendships, our work relationships, our communities, churches and schools?
We’d have to be more mindful. We’d have to work harder. We’d have to open up to share our stories. AND, we’d find that the adventures of life are richer and so much more beautiful when we’re a little sweaty and dirty together, than they are when we keep going alone.
Look around you to see who needs to cross a river you’ve already crossed and build a bridge for someone today.
to more love,