It was 6:05 p.m., CDT on Wednesday, Aug 1, 2007. Heading home from a day at work were Minneapolis’ finest workers, all racing to get through the traffic to their homes. No one thought about it as the pavement they were driving on left solid ground and headed across the I-35 bridge. Here’s what it looked like then. An instant later it looked like this. In its aftermath, you can see the devastation that it caused. Approximately 100 vehicles and their occupants fell 115 feet to the river and its banks below. 13 people died. A school bus carrying 60 children ended up resting precariously against the guardrail of the collapsed bridge near a burning semi-trailor.Ten children were injured, one youth worker severely. It was a horrific scene. How could it happen?
It turns out that those people crossing that bridge were filled with false confidence. The road was open. The government was tacitly saying, “Everything’s fine. You can trust this bridge with your life.” There’s only one problem: That was a lie. Since 1990, a period of 17 years, the federal government had given the bridge a “structurally deficient” rating citing significant corrosion . (By the way, you might be interested to know that 75,000 other bridges also had this classification in 2007! Kinda makes you squeamish when you drive doesn’t it?) You see, these people had full confidence that this bridge would hold them up, but that confidence was misplaced.
It’s like that with the proud. They have a misdirected confidence, and that misdirected confidence will block their relationship with God and distort their view of their relationship with Him, because God always opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.