Sunday, March 18, 2012

Building Bridges

“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.”  Sir Isaac Newton

I just read this quote in one of my books on leadership I am reading for my classes and it really struck me, the profound truth of it.  How often do we allow offense or miscommunication or hurt to build up walls within us that separate us from others rather than build bridges that connect us together?

It reminded me of a time several years ago when the age of the boys in my dorm had risen and was bordering on adolescence and so we were encountering some behavior problems.  One particular evening, some of the older boys had been particularly disrespectful and I was hurt and offended.   I was in fact nursing the hurt in my head – building walls between us. 

I suddenly heard God very clearly speak to my spirit – “build a bridge to them.”    Of course, I said, “what?  is that you God?”  And again, I heard him say, “build a bridge – they don’t know how, you need to show them how.”

The moment is crystal clear to this day – the importance of building a bridge to cover the gap that grows between us during conflict.  And, especially with children, to model that for them in order to teach them what to do when they have wronged or been wronged.  How to forgive and seek forgiveness.

Since then, I have often found myself in a situation when I whisper to myself – “build a bridge Laura.”  I hope that will keep me from building too many walls!

Do you build bridges or walls in your life?  I’d love to hear your stories!


Anne Dye said...

This was really encouraging. Thanks.

Laura said...

Thanks for leaving a note Anne! I'm glad it was encouraging. When I am done with my abstinence from blog reading, after Lent is over, I will check yours out thoroughly! Blessings, Laura

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

The Reeds said...

what a wonderful story Laura. It's so hard to do sometimes but it's always worth it.

pamelitarose said...

Hi Laura!
I think I do both...sometimes I spend a great deal of time tearing down walls I've built...but I recycle the materials to build the bridges! :)

I did notice recently an adult who was building walls, & children or young people really need the adults in their lives to build those bridges! (any age just needs wisdom, insight, & skills).

Thank you for sharing this!!

Nikita said...

I certainly have built many walls in my life, mostly around my own heart. In moving around so much throughout my childhood, I came across many people who hurt me. By high school graduation, I had built such a fortress around my heart that I didn't even know its strength. I did not let people in, I kept many secrets. Then I came to Grove City College, and over my first two years God tore those walls down--through friends, biblical studies, experiences... We have such a wonderful Christian environment here, and God opened up my heart more than I even knew it was closed off. He even opened it up to people across the world--I think my first trip to Mozambique was really like Jericho for my heart--God tore down the last of the major walls I had spent years building, and He has filled my heart with love and passion I never could have imagined. During my first visit to Zimpeto, another visitor Hadrian had a vision of me as a pail filled with holes (the struggles in my life); but then rocks were placed over each hole (Jesus is my Rock!) and the water (His love) filled the bucket and overflowed. I have seen this come to fruition, and it continues to do so. This is the biggest story of walls and bridges in my life, and it's not done yet. He is obviously still working on me, but I dare say that I have a great testimony of His wonderful works in life, of which this story is merely a small part. Thank you, Laura, for leading me to think about and share this. All praise be to God! Gloria Deus!