Nik Wallenda is called the “King of the Highwire”  He requalified for that title when he walked a across the Grand Canyon, with no net or tether.  My first thought: his poor MOTHER!  But then again, Nik represents the 7th generation of The Flying  Wallendas, a family of acrobats – so she probably has come to expect these kind of moments. 

He wore a microphone for his journey and was heard saying “thank-you Jesus” throughout his time above the canyon.  He kissed the ground when he successfully reached the other side.  About 13 minutes into the walk he was heard saying, “Thank you Lord.  Thank you for calming that cable God.”  In a later interview, Nik was quoted as saying, “It was stressful.”  Imagine how his wife and kids felt!

Nik Wallenda is in the news, and many will watch the Discovery Channel in the future, to see a replay of the daring Grand Canyon walk.  A LOT of people wanted to see if he would fall – but he didn’t.  Why are we fascinated by people who take great risk with their lives?  Why do some people like to do things they know will draw a crowd to watch?

I wrote a post about Nik’s great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, awhile back.  We used to visit Tallulah Gorge, to see the spot where his grandfather crossed on a highwire.  Karl Wallenda fell off a highwire walk in Puerto Rico and plunged to his death.  I wonder if that crossed Nik’s mind before he picked up his 43-pound balancing pole, considered the 1500 foot drop, and decided that a highwire was the best way to the other side of the Grand Canyon.  He could have taken that mule ride like everyone else!  Nik was a co-producer for the Discovery Channel program about his daring feat.  I doubt he would have been given that job if he was riding a mule.

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{/source}I’m somewhat perplexed over his Christian faith, and his desire to witness for the Lord by taking such chances with the life God gave him.  Nik Wallenda has written a book titled Balance: A Story of Faith, Family and Life on the LineNik says he is an entertainer who wants not only to thrill hearts, but to change hearts for Christ.  He believes that “Jesus is the balance pole that keeps him from slipping.”

A lot of people heard his message.  A lot of people want to know the source of his strength.  He is able to share the name of Jesus with people that this blog would not reach.  But what happens if he falls one day like his grandfather did?  Does that mean Jesus wasn’t who Nik said he was?

Jesus used to draw huge crowds when he preached.  People then, like today, were interested to know if he really was the long-awaited Messiah.  During his third year of ministry he risked his life every time he spoke.  Missionaries all over the world have risked their lives, even lost their lives preaching to people about Jesus.  John was the only apostle who died a natural death.

I hope Nik Wallenda is walking a highwire because it is what God has called him to do.  If so, then I respect the risk he takes to draw a crowd and his desire to share the name of Jesus.  I guess that is knowledge only Nik and God can have.  I do know this, Christians are called to take risks in order to share the message of Christ.  Those risks may seem minor compared to the apostles or Wallenda, but if God calls, risk is a consequence of our decision, not an option to consider. 

Where is God calling you to walk?  Sometimes it is a canyon and the risks are high.  Other times, it might be a walk across the street to help a neighbor.  Whatever the call, here is what you can count on: you are being watched.  You might draw a crowd, you might be noticed by one or two others – but you are definitely seen by God.  Will you work to change hearts for Christ too?

Nik Wallenda is right.  Jesus is the one to balance our lives.  Ask the Lord where you are supposed to walk today, and trust him to be there – whatever the risk.  All of us can join Nik Wallenda and say, “Thank you Lord,” as we take each step, balanced by our faith in God.

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