Once upon a time there was a man and his son and daughter who lived in a beautiful forest on a great mountain across a deep canyon away from the rest of the world. Each day the three would cross a bridge over the canyon to explore the world and all that was in it. Just about everything that you can think of to do or have in our world today was in that world also.
The father would tell his children every day when they got to the bridge, “Never cross this bridge that I built for you long ago unless I am with you.” Then, each day, together, they would cross together and explore the wonders of the rest of the world.
One day, when the two children were in the forest playing hide and seek, the little girl hid behind some rocks beside the bridge their father had built to get to the rest of the world. When her brother found her, she said, “Let’s go explore the rest of the world. There is the bridge to it.”
“But our Father said never to go across the bridge to the rest of the world unless He was with us!”
The little girl went out onto the bridge a little ways and said, “See? It is strong. We can explore the rest of the world by ourselves. C’mon! It will be fun.” And so the little boy followed, and off they went to explore the rest of the world, all by themselves.
However, when they returned to the bridge to return home to their father, they couldn’t cross it because it had collapsed, and it was much too dangerous for them to try to repair it, so they couldn’t go home to Father. They had to stay in the rest of the world.
One day, the children were resting after working hard in the rest of the world all morning to find enough to eat, when a man appeared on the road, and he asked them if he could be of any help. “Can you help us get back to our father, who lives across that great canyon in the beautiful forest on the mountain?”
“Sure! I can help! He is my Father, too!” answered the man. “If you believe that I am His son too, and you promise you will always try to love Him and obey Him, and that you will always try to treat all people with love, and that you will tell others about Him, and you believe that I can lead you to your father, then yes, I can help you!”
“Yes, we will try!” said the children. And they led the man to the bridge. The man tried to repair the bridge, but alas, a great wind came along and blew the damaged bridge and the man into the river at the bottom of the canyon and they were swept away. But as he was swept away, the children thought they heard him say, “Do not be afraid! I will be back!”
But the children were afraid. They sat down on a rock and cried. “How can he come back. How can he survive such a terrible fall? What can we do? How are we going to get back to our Father?”
All the rest of that day, and all the next day, the children moped around, depressed, not knowing what to do. They felt so bad they couldn’t eat . . . they couldn’t sleep. They didn’t know what to do. At the end of that second day, however, they were exhausted, and fell asleep in each others’ arms, and they didn’t awake until the light of the next day, when they awoke to the sound of a pounding hammer. They looked out over the canyon, and there in the middle of a brand new bridge, pounding in the last nail, was the man, and he said, “C’mon! It’s really me! I told you I’d be back! Now let’s go see our Father!” And so they did, and their Father welcomed them with open arms, telling them how much He loved them all.
“Now,” said the Father,and the man, His Son, “Go, my children, back across the bridge and out into the rest of the world, and tell everyone about the great thing that this man has done for you. Believe in Him, and He will be with you until the end of time.”