High Wire Act
In high school we had a retreat at church. One of the speakers told a story that stuck with me. Back in the 1800s there was a famous tightrope walker named the Great Blondin. He walked across Niagara Falls on a high wire. Then he repeated the high-wire feat while wearing stilts. He did it again and made an omelet along the way. Finally, he got out a wheelbarrow. People in the audience shouted out “You are the best tightrope walker in the world!” He then asked who wanted to get in the wheelbarrow. Not a single person wanted to ride in the wheelbarrow with the greatest tightrope walker in the world.
At the retreat, this tightrope walker story was presented as a modern parable, a lesson on faith: we are the people in the audience and we need to trust Jesus with the wheelbarrow.
But we can also read the story from the perspective of the tightrope walker. This also becomes a lesson in faith. The tightrope walker trusts God to guide his every step as he’s training. He starts as a boy, walking on boards in his backyard. Then he puts a rope up between two trees, maybe with a net underneath. After enough practice, he takes the net away. After years of training in this fashion, he starts performing in public, doing bigger and bigger stunts. By the time he takes his first step out onto that tightrope over Niagara Falls, it’s the next logical step.
In my experience, that’s how God’s will works. He doesn’t lay out the whole plan, he just shows us the next logical step. And he doesn’t expect us to get off the couch and walk across Niagara Falls. He just wants us to take the first step and keep going. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. When we fall, he helps us get up. He’ll reveal the rest of the way, one step at a time.
I do my share by doing everything I know to do and I trust God with the rest. The second part is the hardest. God, why can’t you just show me the whole path? Just lay it all out there so it’s clear? And preferably easy? And he calls me to take one more step.
What next step is God calling to you right now?