blogs and bridges


Originally uploaded by RobbbL

Seventy years ago a bunch of people were having a hard time finding work. They were living in the time we call the Great Depression, though there wasn’t much that was great. People scraped around for whatever work they could find.

The Civilian Conservation Corps was started to give employment to some of these people (and my paternal grandmother did the laundry for guys in a CCC camp in northern Minnesota.) The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was another program started to build and paint and help people stay afloat.

Workers from the WPA built a bridge near Fort Wayne, Robb Lenardson took a picture, and here we are.

A couple days ago, rolled out a new feature for tracking blog visits. Instead of just being able to view hits per day, you can see hits per week or hits per month. When I look at the daily chart, my traffic is up and down over 30 days. It can be pretty depressing–they like me, they hate me, they are paying attention, they are ignoring me. Pretty sad, I know, but some of you do have the same addiction.

When I look at the weekly report, however, the chart is a little less choppy. When I look at the hits per month chart, however, I see a fairly steady increase from about 11/2006.

So what?

Compared to a bridge which has carried vehicular traffic for generations, my fretting about how many hits per day is pretty petty. What I can guess, however, is that the people working on that project seventy years ago had days when it seemed like nothing was working, when the water kept filling the holes, when the rain kept them from working, when uncle Dave twisted his back and couldn’t work. It is only from a distance that they understand that they changed history, they allowed traffic to move, they allowed generations to make it to grandmother’s house, over the river.

I know that we need to work hard to live each moment, to make the most of every opportunity, to redeem the time. However, we cannot determine the value of those efforts at the momentary level. It is only as we pull out to see if we are making progress this month, this year, this decade, that we begin to see that we are growing, learning, changing. We begin to understand that we are seeing evidence of grace, of forgiveness, of hope.

And, to be honest, we may never see the results of our moment-by-moment integrity (or recovery for mistakes). Most of the people who built this bridge are already dead. But we know that they made a difference.

I need to stop measuring progress a moment at a time. I need to stop living only in the future. Live now. Measure then. It might make a pretty helpful bridge for lots of people.

(Oh, and thanks for stopping by regularly. I am very grateful for your reading and comments and encouragement. )


4 responses to “blogs and bridges

  1. Jon, I like the connection you make between bridges and traffic 🙂

    But when you think about it our words are always a bridge to connect to someone else. Even if there’s only one other person reading what you write – well you just never know what effect your words might have on them, the way those words might resonate, or sometimes just allow them to go ‘oh yes, I get it’, at precisely the moment when they have been searching for… just that.

    As you wrote over at Liz’s place the other day the important thing is to keep on focusing on the things that we are doing, are already doing, and whether we like the way that we are already… changing the world.

    Because you are writing with good intention, with simplicity, with thought, with heart – you are already creating a powerful bridge to the worlds of other people.

    Best wishes and keep on with your great writing!


  2. Thanks, Jon, for the heads up on the new WordPress feature. I hadn’t noticed it. Good words about not living in the future (or the past we could add). We live now. We ask God for daily bread. We live in faith and obedience from this point forward. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Do you sometimes find yourself thinking, “Bah! No more stats!”?

    Aside: I have no idea how that quoted bit should be punctuated. I’m thinking the question mark ought to replace the last exclamation inside the quotes, but doing so would seem to remove the exclamatory aspect.

    Where was I? Right, stats obsession, or at least preoccupation.

    On the plus side, mental digressions help me forget about stats-checking, at least in the short term.

    “Live now. Measure then.” Makes sense to me.

  4. Hi Jon, I read this today and it made me think of what you were saying here too