They Thought 50 Out Of 120 Was Good Enough
The bridge collapse yesterday was a real tragedy. Folks were driving along, doing what they'd done almost every weekday, when suddenly the world fell away under them, dumping them into something they never anticipated. For others, perhaps things came crashing down from above when they least expected it. All associated with that tragedy certainly deserve our prayers.
The bridge in question had been inspected three years ago, and had scored 50 out of a possible 120, which was apparently acceptable and even common. I don't know how they're scored, but that's what I heard the news channels say, anyway.
Apparently, 50 out of 120 was NOT good enough.
By accounts I've heard, the bridge was well designed for its task. And it had done it admirably. How the traffic yesterday compared with 40 years ago, when it was designed, may be another story, though. But whatever it was, it wasn't good enough, yesterday.
The press said that there were numerous areas of flaws in the bridge when last inspected, but they were within limits. I wonder who set those limits..... the expectations and the actual events certainly did not coincide, yesterday, for those unfortunate folks who paid the price for the flaws.
I heard a story about a traveling salesman who saw hundreds of trees with targets painted on them, each with a bullet hole in the bulls-eye. When he asked, he was told they were all shot from a long rifle at a distance of 200 yards. When he said that was impossible, he was told it wasn't hard at all, if you shoot first and THEN paint the target!
Isn't life like that sometimes? Even the Christian life? We chug along doing what's set before us, but (all too often, I fear) never stopping to inspect the bridge and tally the score. And .. we know we'll stand before that Judge some day and explain some things, and I don't think we'll be happy if we have to review the scorecard that shows 50, when we should have been 120 (or maybe the goal is zero .. I don't know).
There were road signs on the bridge, and they are interesting things. They don't get us anywhere, but they tell us where we are, so we can figure how the journey's going. Well, God wants us to know the joy of serving Him on our journey, and He wants that enough that He told us about all the road signs. Put'em all down in a Book, in fact.
Before we get into a set-to about righteousness, I know full well that my righteousness was all imputed to me via faith in the substitutionary death of my Savior. And that I can add nothing to that righteousness He's covered me with. But I don't want to stand before God some day and explain why I thought 50 on a scale of 120, was a good enough response on my part, in gratitude for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords giving it all up for me.
Those engineers and inspectors will have to stand somewhere and explain to somebody, why the bridge collapsed, and why 50 was good enough.
I don't want to have to do that.