Bob Haley

Bob Haley

Our area has a proud circus heritage, having served as the winter quarters for the Greatest Show on Earth.

One of the most daring and dangerous acts is the tightrope walker. Even today, to speak the name Wallenda, one’s mind immediately registers the family of tightrope walkers.

Nik Wallenda continues this rich family tradition even today with crossings of the Grand Canyon and Masaya volcano, and the historic walk over Niagara Falls. Each walk, Nik defies the odds of death and arrives safely on the other side, back to solid ground.

In the 19th century a pioneer in this craft, Monsieur Charles Blondin, walked across Niagara Falls over 300 times in his life. He would accomplish variations by carting a wheelbarrow across the rope or even stopping halfway to make an omelet for breakfast.

Once he asked his manager, Harry Colcord, if he believed that Blondin could walk across Niagara Falls safely. His manager exuberantly shouted, “Yes, I know you can do it!”

Blondin then asked Colcord to climb onto his back and allow the tightrope walker to carry him across the raging falls.

This is where belief turns into life-altering trust.

The end of the story is that Colcord did climb on Blondin’s back and they both safely traversed the chasm.

What Blondin told Colcord prior to the tightrope walk is important.

Blondin explained that when Colcord was on his back that he was no longer himself but now a part of Blondin.

Colcord was to give full control over to Blondin. If Blondin leaned left, then Colcord was to lean left also.

Under no circumstance was Colcord to try to correct the actions and directions of his transport to the other side. Blondin promised he would make it.

So it is with our faith. When we say that we believe in Jesus, that is not enough. “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder.” (James 2:19)

The question for us today is, “is our belief a foundation of our lives?” Do we believe so much that we trust ourselves fully in the hands of Jesus?

For you see, there is a great chasm of sin that separates us from God — a chasm that no man can cross on his own. The only one to ever leave the Heavenly Realm and cross over to this Earthly Realm and then back again is Jesus Christ, a man without sin born of the Holy Spirit and the Son of God.

Here is the good news: Jesus will put you on his back and take you across the chasm. You merely have to believe in Him — not a casual belief but a foundational trust that calms the winds and silences the seas.

When we say yes to Jesus, we climb on His back. His righteousness becomes our righteousness.

Like Blondin said to Colcord, we are no longer ourselves. Rather, when we climb on the back of Jesus, we become a part of Him. We allow Him to hold us in His grasp.

We allow Him to lean without leaning against Him. We don’t battle His decisions, we simply trust that He will take us safely to the other side.

Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life? Are you willing to trust His ways and follow His path in your life?

For those who cling to Jesus, He is faithful to take you not only through this life but across the chasm of sin to the other side.

Bob Haley is assistant pastor of Christ United Methodist Church.


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