The Sydney Harbor Bridge in Sydney, Australia, is an engineering marvel. It reaches 440 feet above the harbor and is almost three-fourths of a mile long. It is the world’s largest steel-arch bridge and makes a breathtaking backdrop for the world famous Sydney Opera House. The bridge opened in 1932 and currently handles 150,000 cars a day. I’m sure you’ve seen it in countless photos.
What most people don’t realize is that the weight of the traffic and the corrosive effects of the environment take a tremendous toll on the steel. Maintenance efforts never stop and are extremely expensive. It takes 10 years and 21,000 gallons of paint to give the bridge a fresh coat. And the 6 million rivets that hold the beams together need to be replaced on a regular basis. Altogether, it costs well over $5 million per year to keep the structure in good shape.1 That’s a lot of money, but the powers that be never hesitate to spend it because they know that if they don’t, the bridge eventually will collapse.
Bridges aren’t the only things that need careful maintenance. Houses, cars, and Christians do, too. You may know several people who have drifted away from the Lord and ended up living sad, sorrowful lives. If you could examine each case history, you’d likely find there was a lack of personal, spiritual maintenance that preceded the drifting.
The Lord’s Supper is an opportunity for all of us to do some maintenance on ourselves. When Paul says we should examine ourselves before eating the bread and drinking the cup (1 Corinthians 11:28), he’s simply saying we need to pop the hood and have a look at our hearts. If something is loose, worn, dirty, or has come undone—something that is causing our spiritual lives to run rough—it can be fixed right then and there with a renewed commitment or an act of repentance.
Please don’t let this opportunity slip away. Remember that Satan is here, too, and the last thing he wants is for you to give your heart a tune-up. Don’t let him distract you. Focus on the Lord and keep your spiritual toolbox handy.
1Ron Lambert, Tom Parker, Is That Your Hand in My Pocket? (
Mark Atteberry has served as senior minister with Poinciana Christian Church, Kissimmee, Florida, since 1989. He has written six books, including Free Refill, The Samson Syndrome, and The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do. His latest book, So Much More Than Sexy! (Standard Publishing) was published last summer.