Finishing the Bridge

Boy, it was cold this evening but something compelled him to keep building the bridge. Of course, he could let this young fair-haired youth learn the hard way, but that particular thought brought him no amusement. The youth  will learn some lessons the hard way, but not today, not at this stream, the old man thought. So, he finished the bridge and hoped the young man would use it. It was not the most direct route across the chasm, but it was the safest. It would be the young man’s choice, but at least the old man had attempted  helped a fellow traveler along the way.

 O yes, I almost forgot. While the old man was building the bridge, a fellow middle-aged traveler happened along this same  highway. The old traveler had not seen him before.  This was the first time they spoke.  The fellow traveler criticized the old man for the task he was intent on accomplishing. The outspoken traveler  was observant. He could see the old man had come to the end of his life and would not have opportunity to travel this same road another time. The old man would not need to cross this stream again. Why did he need to build the bridge?  "No one wanted to cross that river", he thought.  This middle age traveler usually traveled the broad path, but decided to give the narrow path a try, today. However, this narrow path was not for him, he did not want to cross that stream, none of popular people he saw in town traveled this path.  He could not wait for the cross road that lead back to the broad path.

The builder lifted his old gray head and explained. There was fair-haired youth following him this very day, and the young man would have to cross this stream or change the direction that he was traveling. He started to tell this middle-aged traveler about the fate of those that traveled the broad path, but for some reason could not get the words out of his mouth.  Other thoughts a phases kept popping into his mind.  Like pearls and swine and don't cast them.  Instead replied that the fair-haired youth was just  too young and too green to cross this stream, today without some assistance. The youth wore the worng shoes for crossing this river.  The middled-aged traveler just shurrged his sholders and said some thing like "each man has the power to choose his own destiny."  The old traveler knew that was not true.  He remembered being under the stream's water  and not able to get back the surface, even though he desperately wanted to do so.  If it had not been for the unseen hand, he was convinced he would not be alive today.

The old man did not say it, but he saw himself in the young traveler. O, how he wanted that boy to make it.