Friday, 3 September 2010

How long should we wait for a miracle?

Yesterday, I was reading the comments on a post about abortion by Phil, an interesting question was raised about when is it too late for God to preform a miracle? Should we keep on waiting and hoping for God to intervene or try and sort out the situation ourself?

As I was thinking about this, an image came to mind which I shall now recount in the form of a Parable.

A Parable of the chasm and a bridge:

An army advances across a broken and cracked land, from horizon to horizon they stretch, slowly marching forward. Ahead of the army run three men of God, each focused on the surrounding ground, stumbling but not falling. They do not see where they are running, they do not see what is ahead of them only what is close around. Before them awaits a massive chasm, reaching far down into the earth, so deep that the bottom cannot be seen but is shrouded in darkness. Across the chasm hangs a rope bridge, swinging, unsteady and dilapidated. It is the only crossing along the entire length of the mighty chasm.

The foremost of the men stumbles to a stop at the edge of the Chasm, the bridge right in front of him; a bridge made by man. Not trusting in man but rather having great faith, and deciding that if it's God's will that he should pass the chasm then he will, the man takes a few steps back and starts running straight towards the chasm and jumps off trusting that God will catch him. God does not catch him this time, but rather, the man falls to his death.

Shortly afterwards the second man, by chance, arrives at the same point. He too is faced with the same dilemma, to use the rickety man made bridge or trust in God. Having glanced up as he was running he has seen what has just occurred to the first man. So as he comes to the edge of the chasm he pauses briefly and then calmly walks of the edge of the cliff. Reasoning that the only reason the first man wasn't saved was because his faith wasn't strong enough and that as his own faith was strong he would be fine. He too plummeted to his death.

A while later the third man stumbles upon the same point oblivious to what has happen already. He looks at the bridge and he looks at the chasm. The man made bridge is fragile and does not look like it'll bear his weight but it is a path across the chasm. Slowly, haltingly, the man steps out on to the bridge and walks across, trusting that if he falls God will catch him. This man does not fall but, rather, safely navigates the chasm, upon reaching the other side he starts running again to keep ahead of the ever advancing army.

The meaning?

Which of these men was wisest? Was it the first who trusted in God to save him or the second who trusted in his faith or was it the third who realised God's providence in placing the bridge where it was needed?

As well as a parable this may also be an allegory, with the Army symbolising time, the Chasm, death and the bridge being medicine, although I'm not entirely sure about that. I'd appreciate any comments as it would be good to know what people think.

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