What’s Your Tightrope Walk?
There’s brave, then there is bold, followed by fearless…and after that exists a very fine line that separates courageous from just plain crazy.
Nik Wallenda walks that line all the time, but now he has set a world record that I doubt anyone will try to topple.
Were you one of the millions of people that saw this happen? If not, meet 33 year old Nik Wallenda… a seventh generation member of The Flying Wallendas (think insane daredevil trapeze stuff), which you might have guessed means that the crazy gene runs deep in his family history.
And Nik has done his kinfolk proud by walking 1800 feet on a tight rope, 20 stories high over the misty crashing deluge of water known as Niagara Falls. This was a completion of his lifelong dream that was birthed on a trip to the Falls when he was just 6 years old.
Can you imagine trying to maintain perfect balance while walking on a 2 inch diameter wire that’s suspended 200 feet over an aquatic frenzy? I still trip on the stairs at the school where I’ve taught for 5 years!
But Nik had an unquenchable dream and undaunted faith…and when you combine those two forces in a person, crazy and impossible transforms into spectacular and inspirational.
But that’s just for the fearless, risk taking adventurers - right? Perhaps…but I have a sneaking suspicion that you admire or even envy people like Nik who throw caution to the wind when it comes to fulfilling lifelong dreams and accomplishing magnificent feats. I know I do, and Nik’s accomplishment has stirred in me a renewed desire to find the tightrope to which God has called me.
Oh, don’t worry, I wouldn’t make it two feet on a two inch cable before gravity would claim my body. The “tightrope” I refer to is the line that runs through where my passions, dreams, and fears all collide in a torrential Niagara. It’s the calling on my life to step forward into the existence that is defined by these parameters:
Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see. It was their faith that made our ancestors pleasing to God (Hebrews 11:1).
A life of faith - a life classified by being “sure of what we hope for” and the ability to perceive as fact what has not been revealed to our 5 senses - is the most adventurous high wire in the world. And my friend, you come from a line of spiritual tightrope walkers that goes back way more than seven generations. You’ve got God-fearing, faith-fueled history that goes back to Adam and Eve! And here is a description of their daredevil lives:
Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn't deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world (Hebrews 11:33-38)
So what’s your tightrope? Is it crossing the street to share Christ with your neighbors? Is it crossing clique lines to befriend the “uncool” kids at your school?
Or…is it crossing your heart and hoping to die for THE Cause of making disciples who make disciples? This is the spiritual tightrope for all of us, isn’t it? This adventure demands our time, talents and even the things we’ve treasured in our hearts. The winds of human opinion and waves of doubt keep us from taking the first steps, but trust me…the reward is absolutely worth the risk!
And, like Nik Wallenda, remember that you are not alone in this exhilarating escapade.
(Wait a sec - I’m pretty sure I didn’t see anyone traveling along with Nik along the wire…)
Correct. You didn’t see anyone with Him, but he definitely had a companion. As he painstakingly inched his way slowly across the chasm, Wallenda could be heard on his microphone praying aloud, “Thank you, Jesus, thank you, Lord,” and “Praise you, Jesus.”
And so should we.
And as you navigate through the personal tightrope to which God has called you, remember that you are tethered to the Creator of the universe and you walk over the safety of His unconditional love. Jesus has already conquered every valley through which your journey will take you, so step out in faith for THE Cause with the confidence of someone with 2000 years of family history as kings/queens of the high wire!
One good way to discover your personal tightrope is to engage in a meaningful conversation with a trusted pastor, youth pastor or Christ following adult. Talk about what your passions are and what fears accompany fulfilling your dreams. Set up a time this week with someone to talk through these things and pray for God to lead you to your spiritual Niagara Falls.
Jesus, thank you for being with us every step of the way in life. Lead us to the adventure of faith that You had planned before the creation of the universe, and Holy Spirit please empower us to move forward with THE Cause.
Hebrews 11:6. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
InZane. Zane Black loves to live on the edge. Check out his newest book, InZane. It will encourage you, too, to go all in for Jesus.