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A Bridge Too Far?

The Body Builder

Captain Terry Camsey

By Captain Terry Camsey –

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about my recent visit to the U.S.A. West has been the opportunity to see television highlights of both the Republican and Democratic conventions.

It’s always interesting to see the posturing that takes place, and this campaign is no exception, especially as the incumbent president and “would-be successor” are separated by so many years.

I was intrigued to see how a 70-plus- year-old and a 50-year-old would focus their appeals to the same multi-culture, multiple generation age groups of potential voters, especially since survival of the many is vested in the same electorate.

Dole, I thought, hit on the brilliant strategy (unavailable to a younger president) of labeling himself a “bridge to the past” (or was it a “bridge with the past” or a ‘”bridge from the past? The difference is significant!)

I believe he actually said, “bridge to the past,” and my first reaction was, how tremendous a strategy to build on a strength that his opponent could not claim.

I thought it was tremendous, that is, until I heard Vice President Gore say, “We are a bridge to the future!”

There’s a world of difference, isn’t there, between a bridge that leads back and one that leads forward. That is why the words used by Dole assumed (in my mind) greater significance. “A bridge from the past” assumes a forward direction…”a bridge with the past” assumes a connectedness and continuity…but a “bridge to the past” implies hope that tomorrow will look like yesterday.

It won’t!

Robert Waldron has suggested, in so many words, that the problem most denominations face is in getting beyond the immediate past to the past past. His response is to the fact that–over years–an organization can forget its purpose, become so regulated that the freedoms and possibilities that previously existed, accompanied by solid growth, are stifled.

It’s what we go back to that is significant. Traditionalists seek to recapture that entrepreneurial spirit and flexibility of the founders of organizations.

Preservationists want to preserve methods appropriate when contemporary–ineffective when “quaint.”

A bridge too far?

For both politicians and soldiers of the Army of God it’s a significant issue! (Elephants, they say, never forget…but it was a donkey that carried Christ forward to fulfill his destiny!)

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