When I lived in Phoenix we used to drive to Las Vegas a couple times a year for a weekend getaway. For many years we had to cross the Hoover Dam. It’s an absolute engineering marvel and I love the Art Deco and old Americana designs of the buildings. But the most amazing thing was not looking down, it was looking up. They were building a bridge to span the river so if you’re like me and have crossed the Hoover a hundred times you can take the route over the bridge instead and cut 1-2 hours off your drive time depending on Hoover traffic.
The bridge is a massive arch over 1000 feet long. As you can see in the photo while being built the arches were suspended with a mass of cables before the arch came together and the road was formed over top. Seeing it on a daily basis would not have shown much change but for us, we saw it about once every 4-6 months and it was breathtaking.
Obviously it took an army of engineers and builders to make this bridge a reality, one of them even lost his life in the process. On one of our last trips to Vegas, before we moved to Washington, we were driving as normal and saw that the road to bridge was complete and the bridge was open. We drove up the Arizona side and then saw the sign that said “Welcome to Nevada” I looked and Jenn and asked, “When did we cross the bridge?” The builder had built high walls on either side so drivers wouldn’t get vertigo from being suspended so high. We never even realized we were on the bridge.
I tweeted earlier, My most important goal is to teach my sons not to change the world but to simply build bridges. Building bridges is hard and messy and dangerous. People die, people ask why spend $240 million building the bridge? The road over the Hoover Dam works just fine. But then when the bridge is done, it changes peoples lives in a way they don’t even realize. They cross over at 75mph not even realizing they just crossed the bridge they were so critical of.
What’s worse, people commit suicide on the very bridge you built. They jump to their deaths on the very thing that you built to help people. BUT you still built the bridge. You see God doesn’t call anyone to be a World Changer. In fact a single man, with the exception of Jesus, cannot change the world. God calls bridge builders.
Even in business, you can’t change your industry, you can’t change the status quo. But we can build bridges for others to cross that may have a small or even large impact on the way things work.
The bridge over the Hoover Dam, it didn’t change the fact that you were crossing from Arizona to Nevada, it changed how you crossed from Arizona to Nevada.
Stop trying to change the world, you’ll fail.
Grab a shovel, a hammer, some wood and nails and be a Bridge Builder.