The Bridge Keeper
There was once a bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass thru freely on both sides of the bridge. But at certain times each day, a train would come along and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing a train to cross it.
A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed. One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance thru the dimming twilight and caught sight of the trainlights. He stepped to the control and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance when he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but, to his horror, he found the locking control did not work. If the bridge was not securely in position it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came onto it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger train with many people aboard. He left the bridge turned across the river, and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever switch he could hold to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train crossed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and he took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man‘s strength.
Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold. "Daddy, where are you?" His four-year-old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to the child, "Run! Run!" But the train was too close; the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost left his lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to safety. But he realized that he could not get back to the lever. Either the people on the train or his little son must die. He took a moment to make his decision.
The train sped safely and swiftly on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the onrushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed. They did not see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked: to tell his wife how their son had brutally died.
Now if you comprehend the emotions which went this man‘s heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Father in Heaven when He sacrificed His Son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life. Can there be any wonder that He caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when His Son died? How does He feel when we speed along thru life without giving a thought to what was done for us thru Jesus Christ?
The fox and the grapes
One hot summer day a fox was walking through an orchard. He stopped before a bunch of grapes. They were ripe and juicy.
"I’m just feeling thirsty," he thought. So he backed up a few paces, got a running start, jumped up, but could not reach the grapes.
He walked back. One, two, three, he jumped up again, but still, he missed the grapes.
The fox tried again and again, but never succeeded. At last he decided to give it up.
He walked away with his nose in the air, and said“I am sure they are sour.
A gay young spark I knew, who happened from his aunt great riches to inherit.
He started squandering and squandered with such spirit, that all his worldly wealth was I.O.U.
He had a fine fur coat, still new. It was winter at the time, and old Jack Frost was in his prime.
One day a s wallow passed: what does our booby do. But pawn the fur as well!
"Why, aren't we all aware, you'll never see a swallow in the air till spring insight!
So now,"thinks prodigal,"my fur is useless quite. Why wrap oneself in furs?
It is now the first spring breezes. To Nature's waking realm bring everything that pleases, andto the silent North the banished Frost takes wing."
Our friend is quick at reckoning. He only quite forgets—at least, until he sneezes, one swallowdoes not make the spring.
And so it proves! The frosts return again. The carts go creaking through the crumbled snow, thechimneys puff their smoke, one very window pane, delightful fairy tracings show.
Poor rake! His eyes with rheumy moisture flow; the little bird that spoke of summer days tofollow, lies frozen in the snow.
He stands beside the swallow. And shakes, and holds his breath, and mumbles through histeeth, "You villain, any how you'refinished too!
I thought that I could count on you! To pawn my fur just now—a pretty thing to do!"