I was one of the millions glued to the TV as Nick Wallenda prayed his way across the Grand Canyon recently. For someone who has difficulty navigating a sidewalk (and freezes two feet off the ground if there is nothing to cling to), I can’t begin to imagine how anyone could do what he does. Or why one would want to in the first place. But he is the 7th generation of the “Flying Wallendas” and no doubt toddled his way across a wire as a two year old. Listening to his father’s coaching and soothing reassurance as he spoke to his son throughout the stunt, it was clear Nick was trained and well prepared.
From the moment he set foot on the wire, Nick glorified God and His Son with praises, supplications and adoration. He called on Jesus’ authority to calm the winds that were playing havoc with his lifeline, trusting in the same power that calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee. He was clearly putting his life in God’s hands with the kind of faith that moves mountains. He didn’t even hedge his bets with a cable around his waist.
No doubt God expected Nick to do his part, using the brain and talent He gave him. Practice, practice and more practice. Why? Why would the God of the universe care about amazing stunts? Of all the things a person could do to make a difference in the world, I can’t think of anything more useless than walking a wire from one point to another. Yet this is the talent God gave Nick when He placed him in the Wallenda clan.
Maybe the world needs to see and hear real faith in action – that “lay it all on the line for the Christ who captured my soul for all eternity” kind of faith. That’s the kind of commitment Jesus was talking about when he spoke of only those disciples who put their hand to the tiller and don’t look back as being worthy of him. What would Wallenda’s walk across the Grand Canyon have looked like if he had look back, or down or waivered?
I don’t think I can develop or grow that kind of faith; I can only pray humbly for it, believing with all my heart He will answer my prayer. I wonder what would change in my life if every step I took on my daily journey were rooted in that trusting, surrendering faith. What amazing things could God accomplish through me if I clung to His Son like Nick Wallenda did as he put it all on the wire?