Hebrews 12:1,2 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Someone always has to be the first! I remember driving out West and seeing a sign that read, “20 miles to the world’s tallest bridge.” We were driving on a very flat plain. In the distance to the right were some mountains. I thought the road would abruptly turn to the mountains--where else would a tall bridge be located?

The road did not turn, and in a few minutes I saw a sign that said, “1 Mile to the world’s tallest bridge.” Skeptically I said to myself, “Sure! Out here in the middle of nowhere on a flat, flat plain!” Suddenly, there the bridge was on the flat, flat plain. How unimpressive the bridge looked as we approached it, but the bottom of a narrow canyon was hundreds of feet below it.

The canyon was like a huge crack in the plain with that same level plain continuing on the other side of this short bridge. Unbelievable! It was the world’s tallest bridge [at least when it was built] simply because ‘the bottom fell out’ of a level plain, not because the bridge was high in the mountains spanning some small, deep valley.

I wondered about the first person who saw this crack. I wondered if an adventurer going west happened upon it and said, “Oops! Where do we go now?” I wondered if some Indian guide said, “Do not travel what looks to be the easy way!” I wondered how many looked at the canyon from the west side and said, “Whew! Thanks!”

We owe a special debt to those brave enough to blaze trails for us to follow. The blazed trail for reasons says silently, “Go this way! It may be difficult, but it avoids the dangers and disappointments of the other way.” It also occurs to me that trail blazing always came at a price.

Thank you, Jesus, for trail blazing for us the way to God in the wilderness of an evil existence! Thank you for knowing the dangers of futile ways, having the courage to pay the price, and showing us the safe and certain way to the Father. Without your trail blazing, how lost we would be! How wasted our efforts would be! How quickly our dreams would become hopelessness! How futile a wasted life would be!

John 14:6,10 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. ... Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.”

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 6 July 2006

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