Daily Archives: July 18, 2012

Roman roads

Roman roads were built in seven layers, with technology to resist freezing, permit drainage and to last with as little repair as possible. They were smooth and straight, designed to transport heavy building materials and move armies quickly from one province to another.

With the advent of the bicycle and later the motor car in the early 1900s, durable roads were needed in both Europe and America. Drawing upon their Roman ancestors, the Europeans initially outperformed American in road engineering. It wasn’t until after clumsy attempts with wood and even iron that Americans perfect the art. The incipient trucking industry potholed our first roads.

A pastor and a Christian leader is paving the way before new converts to walk in the Way. Christ said, I am the WAY and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me — John 14:6 NIV (caps mine). Ravines were filled in and passes were cut through mountains. The stability of the Empire depended on this network of 400,000 kilometers of roads. You as a leader must forge the path before the new convert to achieve his stability. It is labor intensive, so that’s why Christ has commissioned you. Engineer your ministry in such a way that your construction of Christians helps them go the distance.


The race that remembers the feat

Leonhard Seppala braved -50 degree Farenheit blizzards to carry serum 91 miles, the longest and most perilous stretch, in a heroic dog sled relay run to stave off a diphtheria outbreak that threatened to wipe out the native Alaskan population of iced-in Nome in 1925.

Through the impenetrable, swirling snow, he pressed on and on, risking his life and the life of his dogs, to save a population cut off at a time before reliable airplanes could link it with the rest of the world. Without the serum, perhaps all the natives would fall to a white man’s disease against which they had no natural immunity.

Leonhard Seppala

The whole team of 20 mushers and a combined total of 150 sled dogs trekked across 1,000 miles of treacherous mountain passes, iced tundra, vast expanses of uninhabited frostbiting snow, in a record five-and-a-half days. Their heroics are commemorated in the annual Iditarod Race, named after the barren frigid trail that was the original route for the town’s salvation.

Seppala and his mushers inspire me. As carriers of Nome’s only hope, they held back nothing in their effort to save people. They should inspire us to withhold nothing in our Christianity today. For us now, the serum is Jesus Christ. And the epidemic decimating humanity is sin.

Can we give more of ourselves? In prayer, offerings, evangelism? Can we brave difficulties? Can we set aside distractions and dedicate ourselves to penetrating the snow storm that separates the sinner from salvation?