Swing bridges span waterways, allowing train or automobile traffic to cross from one side to the other. With a turn of 90 degrees, a boat safely passes through the waters below while traffic above is stopped. But one wrong turn can be disastrous.
In 1875, the construction of a wooden swing bridge began over Portage Lake in Michigan, connecting two cities. Upon completion, pedestrians could walk from one side of the bridge to the other for a two-cent fare. Horse-drawn wagons passed over regularly for a fee of 10 cents for single-horse draws and 15 cents for two-horse draws. The bridge served well for over twenty years before being replaced with a more modern swing bridge made of iron. The King Bridge Company completed work on the Portage Canal Swing Bridge in 1901.
But four years later, in 1905, just one signal mix-up caused the steamer Northern Wave to smash into the bridge’s center section, causing extensive damage to the structure. No one was injured in the accident, but the results could have been quite different!
Staying on the narrow path that the bible says leads to righteousness, keeping oneself safe from the schemes of the enemy of our soul, can be determined by the choices we make at every turn in life. One wrong turn can lead us down a path that takes us away from God’s desires for us. He warns us lovingly in the Book of Proverbs:
Do not turn away to the right nor to the left [where evil may lurk];
Turn your foot from [the path of] evil. Proverbs 4:27
Knowing what God’s Word says and following Him in obedience will keep our feet from the next wrong turn. But when we do fail from time to time and that wrong turn is taken, our Savior still waits to take our hand and lead us back on to the path of safety.