Posted by I WILL NOT BOW on 3/24/2011
BE A BRIDGE BUILDER
"Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.
Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.
One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox.
"I'm looking for a few days work" he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?"
"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor, in fact, it's my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll go him one better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence -- an 8-foot fence -- so I won't need to see his place anymore. Cool him down, anyhow."
The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."
The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day.
The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.
The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge -- a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work -- handrails and all -- and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched.
"You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done."
The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder.
"No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.
"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but, I have many more bridges to build."
I often search my heart to see if I am tearing down or building up. I wonder how many times in this life, my words have been used to tear down rather than build up. To my shame,I am sure there have been too many times.
We are in need to guard our hearts so that no evil thing can take root and sprout and grow and by our words or actions or attitudes, many will be hurt.
Have you ever noticed how easy a "weed" can grow. It takes nothing at all really, just a place to take root. They are very hard to stop, once they begin to grow. Too much sun, want kill them, Too much water want drown them. You can stomp on them, yell at them, but nothing works. They have to be taken out by the roots.
If in our lives we see these kind of thoughts, attitudes, actions springing up, We need to do whatever it takes to rid ourselves of them before they grow and grow and become stronger and stronger and spill out until we have destroyed or crippled people. None of us would want to ever hurt someone we love or even people we do not know but our words and actions and attitudes can choke and kill any love we have for someone. They can smother any good feelings we hold in our heart for another.
Attitudes do not need words to express themselves. They scream out our feelings that lay buried in our hearts. Soon, it is clear to all.... that, there is an ugly root that is in our heart growing and consuming us. We must do what it takes to get rid of this thing that kills the heart and spirit of others. That takes from them their desire to keep trying.
Attitudes as well as the spoken word can kill our testimonies for the Lord that as Christians, we highly value. We must guard our hearts!! Keep any and all "weeds" from growing there.
Instead, we need to be bridge builders. We need to lift up those who are discouraged and feel down-trodden.We need to made amends where we can. We can never know what goes on in the heart of another so we need to be on guard as to what thoughts we allow ourselves to have and to harbor. We need to think before we speak. Say as little as is possible and when we do speak, make sure it is something that will bring honor to the Lord, we love and serve.
Always seek to be the one, who takes the pain, the heartache, the burden, for we know that we can lay all those things at the feet of the Saviour. We, in this world who want to live the Christian life must seek to be bridge builders and not ones who go around tearing down.
WHICH AM I?
I watched them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in a busy town.
With a ho-heave-ho and a lusty yell,
They swung a beam, and the side wall fell.
I asked the foreman: "Are these men skilled,"
And the men you"d hire if you had to build?"
He gave a laugh and said: "No, indeed!
Just common labor is all I need.
I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do."
And I thought to myself as I went my way,
Which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square?
Am I shaping my deeds to a well-made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker who walks the town
Content with the labor of tearing down?
By: Ruth B. Teasdale
I want to be a bridge builder, how about you? Have a great day, I love you, connie