Sun, 11 August 2019
On January 5, 1975 Frank and Sylvia Manley were traveling along a broad highway in the state of Tasmania in Australia. Darkness began to fall and fog blanketed the area. But the highway was smooth and they were at ease assuming that the road that they were on would ultimately lead them to their desired destination.
Their route brought them to the Derwent River. A high bridge spanned it. As they neared its apex, Sylvia sensed that something was wrong. The street lights that lined the roadway as well as the white lines that bordered their lane all suddenly disappeared ahead. She screamed in fear. Frank stomped on the brakes and as their car skidded toward an abrupt stop, its front wheels suddenly dropped. The frame of the car slammed to the roadbed finally arresting their forward progress. The car seemed to teeter. Its headlights shone into the swirling waters of the Derwent.
The Manleys realized at that moment that several sections of the bridge were simply gone. They carefully and quickly slid out of their car. In the lane next to them a station wagon, driven by Murray Ling, came to a stop just before the brink; however, another vehicle behind them could not brake in time. It bumped into the Lings’ vehicle pushing its front wheels over the edge too. Ling, his wife, and their two small children escaped.
Not everyone was as fortunate. The bridge collapse was caused by a wayward cargo ship that slammed into its supporting piers. The falling spans hit the ship and sank it with the loss of seven crew members. Four cars, unaware of the abyss that had opened, plunged over the precipice into the river below. Five occupants of those vehicles died that night.
It’s a stark reminder that not every road leads home. The way may be broad and easy, but the important thing is not our comfort; the essential thing is to get home.
Choose your route carefully.
If this is good advice for earthly routes, how much more so for those that lead to eternal destinies. Jesus speaks directly to this priority in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Join us this Sunday at Istrouma as we take to heart these words of Jesus from our ongoing study of the Sermon on the Mount.
“Doors, Directions, and Destinies”
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide . . . that leads to destruction, and . . . the gate is narrow . . . that leads to life . . .” (From Matt. 7:13-14)
“Enter by the narrow gate. For . . . the way is easy that leads to destruction, and . . . the way is hard that leads to life . . .” (From Matt. 7:13-14).
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt. 7:13-14).