If you’ve ever been to Paris, you’ll know that many of its bridges have a story to tell.
The Pont de la Concorde is no exception.
This stone-arch bridge across the River Seine connects the Place de la Concorde with the National Assembly.
Construction of the bridge started during the late 1700s and continued even during the turmoil of the French Revolution. It was completed in 1791.
Interestingly, some of the stones used for the Pont de la Concorde were sourced from the rubble of the demolished Bastille prison. The bridge’s architect, Rudolph Perronet, said this was “so that the people could forever trample the old fortress.”
Today you can traverse this bridge and trample under your own feet the stones from the once-feared stronghold which imprisoned so many.
It’s a satisfying feeling to show your contempt for something vile by actually stomping on it, isn’t it?
Scripture tells us that Jesus will do something similar:
Right now, living in countries like New Zealand sounds like a sort of paradise to the rest of the world.
Some island nations have been able to beat back the novel coronavirus to the point where life is almost back to normal.
People in those countries can once again attend concerts, go out to restaurants or to church, return to their workplaces, and hug their friends and family.
They can pretty much go about their pre-pandemic lives.
For those of us living in countries still battling second or third waves of COVID-19, life in places like New Zealand seems like a dream.
We hope that one day maybe life will be like that for us, too: we long for a world where there are no more restrictions, suffering or death due to COVID-19.
In essence, we all yearn for a release from “bondage,” don’t we?
But even when we’ve been able to put the novel coronavirus in the rear-view mirror, this ache for freedom won’t quite go away.
Do you ever get a bit anxious when faced with something completely new?
Like how to find a new job in an economy that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before? Or how to navigate a world that’s turned upside-down?
Many of us shrink from the prospect of entering uncharted territory.
And we’re not the only ones: even some animals balk when confronted with something unfamiliar.
Cows are notorious for disliking disruptions to their routines and environments. They’re particularly averse to new gates. Cows are made so nervous by new entrances and openings that they’ll stubbornly resist going through them.
This trait is so well known that it’s given rise to the phrase, “like a cow looking at a new gate.” It means to view something with bewilderment and confusion, as though to say, “Are you serious? I’m not going through that.”
Do you feel this way when faced with the uncertainties that the new year may bring? Is fear of the unknown keeping you from stepping forward in faith to realize your dreams?
Fear has a way of paralyzing us, so that we stay stuck where we are instead of trying something new.
But we needn’t be afraid.
God will go through the gate ahead of us.
Have you ever seen antique maps with the ominous words, “Here Be Dragons” written across the uncharted regions, or with drawings of sea monsters lying in wait in the menacing oceans?
Heading into a new year, do you feel like you’re entering into unmapped territory in your own life? Do you worry there may be “dragons” lurking ahead for you in 2020?