THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE – LET THE CHURCH ARISE
Roma Waterman January 2015
A few nights ago I had a dream. In it I began to sing a prophetic song. The words were “Just like the golden gate bridge, let the church of God arise”.
When I awoke I wondered what the dream meant. I have spent the last few days studying the history of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and as I began to read the Lord began to speak to me.
I believe the Golden Gate Bridge is a symbol of the church and our individual ministries.
A CONNECTION POINT FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER
The bridge was built to connect the San Francisco bay area to Marin County. Making the route quicker than taking a ferry, the population average was much lower than the national average because there was not an easy link to the communities in the bay area.
Our role as ministry should be as a connection point for others. Let us lead the way into a Kingdom of Heaven lifestyle. Across stormy, powerful swirling seas, the church rises above the dangers of powerful waters so that many can safely cross over. When we don’t fulfil our role as a connection point for others, our growth becomes stunted. We need to create a link for others. When we don’t our growth is stunted, and so is the people we are trying to connect with!
IT WAS BUILT TO BE FLEXIBLE.
When the bridge encountered winds, stormy seas etc, the bridge was designed to move! This ability to flex under pressure means the bridge is less likely to break or damage during storms and high winds.
Are we built like that?
I want to have the ability to be flexible in the coming season. This does not mean we adapt beliefs and truths of the gospel, but I do feel it means there will be times when we will have to make room, change our plans, and flow with the Holy Spirit in ways that may not make sense. It may go against our plans and goals for the year, but are we willing to be flexible? If we don’t, the rigidness and lack of flexibility will end up causing damage.
IT IS NOT ONLY FUNCTIONAL BUT BEAUTIFUL IN DESIGN
Not only does the bridge serve the purpose it was intended to fulfil, but it is certainly one of the most stunning and most photographed man made structures in the world. If you have ever physically seen the bridge it is breathtaking.
This is how the church should be. How wonderful that the body would not only serve the Kingdom, but also be considered beautiful to those who open their eyes to see.
THE BRIDGE WAS COMPLETED UNDER BUDGET
Not only under budget but 1.3 million under budget. That’s a lot of money on any day of the week, but in the1930’s that is quite a significant amount. I surely would love to save that much money on a project!
To build what the Lord wants us to build is not going to break you. It’s not going to clear out your bank balance. You will not use up every last drop of resource you have. I believe it’s going to cost less than we think in a financial sense to establish the dreams and plans the Lord is wanting to birth in our ministries.
BE WISE, COLLABORATE
However, there was a reason why it was completed under budget. Firstly, the pre planning of building the golden gate was very significant. Building commenced in 1933 and was completed in 1937, but it was as early as 1916 that proposals were being submitted to build it. A lot of preparation, wisdom and care preceded the building time frame. And it was not without challenges. Many said it could not be built. Then there was the issue of having that amount of funds available. So you can see many sacrificed and took risks in the hope of building a better future in America.
What also struck me about the building process is that it took a team of engineers and architects to build it. There was not just one person at the ‘top of the tree’ so to speak. Each person had a different skill that contributed to creating the bridge. Can you imagine building something that has never been built before – and not having a ‘go to’ person that could guide the building process with their experience building other similar structures? Each person had their own experience from building other structures, that when combined released the wisdom needed to design a functional yet beautiful bridge.
We can’t build what God puts in our hearts on our own. It takes team and trust in other peoples gifts at times. This is not easy but it builds something that lasts, yet is also beautiful in design.
THE ART OF BUILDING
Finally, let me end with the poem that was written for the completion of the Golden Gate bridge in 1937. It is significant that the chief engineer, Joseph Strauss, was also a poet who penned these beautiful words to commemorate the gates opening. Joseph’s parents were both artisans themselves, his father being a writer and painter, and his mother a pianist.
I love that art and structure held hands in the history of this magnificent bridge. That the man who helped build it also penned it’s story with words as a marker in history.
And so it is with the church – the arts are so important in the beauty of our missions. Joseph Struass’ poem told the story and burned the legacy in history, forever to be remembered! Our art should do the same. Let us write songs and poems that reflect His story. Not for entertainment but for beauty. Let our art tell the story of the Kingdom. Let our art make a way for those brave enough to cross.
Just like the Golden Gate bridge, let the church arise!
Launched midst a thousand hopes and fears,
Damned by a thousand hostile sneers,
Yet ne’er its course was stayed,
But ask of those who met the foe
Who stood alone when faith was low,
Ask them the price they paid.
Ask of the steel, each strut and wire,
Ask of the searching, purging fire,
That marked their natal hour;
Ask of the mind, the hand, the heart,
Ask of each single, stalwart part,
What gave it force and power.
An Honoured cause and nobly fought
And that which they so bravely wrought,
Now glorifies their deed,
No selfish urge shall stain its life,
Nor envy, greed, intrigue, nor strife,
Nor false, ignoble creed.