I watched with awe with 13 million people all over the world as Nik Wallenda, in his blue Discovery Channel tee- shirt and relaxed jeans, slid– footstep by footstep for 1400 feet across the Little Colorado River Gorge in Navajo Country. His only accoutrement was the 43 pound pole balanced in his hands like a huge bird and as we quickly learned, his faith in God.
While the global community sat in their homes, stood in bars, and crouched next to their radios, Nik kept moving, one elk-skinned shoe after the other on the 2 inch steel cable. My own body was upright, tense and still; head shaking, eyebrows furrowed, watching and thinking, ‘He is crazy’, ‘He is selfish’. As I continued to watch, it seemed as though Nik’s body nor his spirit mirrored my own. As I hoped that I would not see this stranger fall from the sky, I heard him say, ” Wow, what a sight!”, as he looked down into the gorge.
–really, he can notice the beauty in this stressful state?? hmmm
Then it happened, quickly and effortlessly–a calm, “Thank you Jesus” and a host of other accolades that seemed be not to be said for him, but for God. There it was again, “Lord calm the wind. Calm the cable. Relax me.”–that was a call to God to help –all this while moving forward- as if he had to, was willed to. It was as if he expected with confidence that God was going to do the very thing he asked him to do. At the end of his walk, while I was still tense, Nik Wallenda skipped the last few feet across the cable.
I have thought about this image often in the last few days. What if we all just kept moving forward, praising God, asking for help and noticing the beauty even in challenging situations. So with an unfurrowed brow, I say, “Lord relax me. Calm the wind and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. …and since I worry obsessively at times, I will have to just stop , crouch down and wait for the waves that I have caused to dissipate, then start again all the while knowing that I will make it across the beautiful gorge of my life while praising God even as people support me, cheer me on, and even sit on the edge of their seats and watch.