Jun 252013 5 Responses

I’m No Nik Wallenda: Is that good or bad?

I wasn’t planning on watching Nik Wallenda cross the Grand Canyon on a cable, but Twitter lured me in. I’m neither a thrill seeker nor a seeker of one seeking thrills, but when enough people Tweet about a show I will tune in.

While I admire Wallenda’s faith, the use of his platform to promote Jesus, and his courage, in my personal opinion his actions were not heroic but irresponsible. As a husband and father, he should tie a rope around his waist in case something goes wrong. It would be no less amazing the day after if he crossed the Canyon with a safety rope than without one. It would even be compelling television to watch him dangle upside down over the Canyon as rescuers hurried to save him if something went wrong as compared to the TV producers quickly cutting to a commercial as Wallenda screams, “Oh Jesuuuuuuuuuuuus” before hitting the bottom 45 seconds later. (Maybe his last word would have been the name of the television station, “Discoooooooooooover” and then as he hit the bottom the screen could have gone black with a simple “y.” It would have been artistic.)

Wallenda has a different opinion and he can do as he wishes, but I promise my wife and children I will do my best not to die in an act of planned stupidity which might communicate I don’t have much to live for. As for dying in an act of spontaneous stupidity, I can make no promises.

As I watched Wallenda and had an internal debate if this was good for the Christian message or bad for it (I still haven’t made up my mind), one thing did strike me. He appeared very aware of God’s presence during his stunt. Rightfully so. Not only did he have one of the most beautiful views of God’s creation an individual has ever experienced, he was also probably scared out of his mind. Fear and beauty are great reminders of God.

Fear had to be present because one mistake could mean his death, but also several factors outside of his control could have led to his death—a cable failure, a gust of wind, a random bird attack, could have sent Wallenda careening to his infamous death. This mixture of fear and beauty kept God very “top-of-mind” during his twenty minute walk.

That same fear and beauty should keep God very top-of-mind during all of our lives.

The beauty is all around us:

  • an Oklahoma sunset
  • freshly mowed grass
  • the birth of a child
  • the laughter of a spouse
  • a perfectly hit 2–iron

Beauty reminds us of the presence of God. More than evil causes us to question the presence of God, beauty should confirm his existence. It should cause us to realize we were created and make us seek our Creator. A walk around the neighborhood should bring as much conversation with Jesus as a walk across the Grand Canyon.

Fear should also make us aware of God’s presence. For all we control, there are many things we don’t. While we can’t manipulate God, we can stay in contact with him, trusting him as he sovereignly controls this world.

Have you thanked God today for what didn’t happen yesterday?

  • Maybe He saved you from a great temptation.
  • Maybe your body killed a cell which could have become cancer.
  • Maybe that delay caused you to miss a big wreck.

Who knows what happened, but one thing we do know—a lot of bad things could have taken place. For many people they didn’t. It’s no guarantee they won’t happen tomorrow, but we can thank God they didn’t happen yesterday. And even if they did, we can thank him as well. We can thank him for his presence even in the midst of trying times.

Wallenda crossed a cable and realized he wasn’t just good, he was fortunate as well.

More than just his skill allowed him to accomplish his goal.

We would do well to realize the same.

While I’m not a big fan of Wallenda risking his life and I’m not sure if a high wire act is the best testimony for a God who regularly proclaims the importance of wisdom, I do admire Wallenda’s awareness of God. And I do hope as I walk the solid ground of this earth that I will be aware of God’s presence in every aspect of my life.

5 Responses to I’m No Nik Wallenda: Is that good or bad?

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