The Walk of a Lifetime
by David Harris
There is a story about a famous tightrope walker. It was a special day. People were drawn from miles around to the place where a man, let’s call him Demetri, would walk on a rope one hundred feet high in the air and stretched seventy-five feet between two buildings. This was nothing that he had not done before. He came from a family of acrobats and tightrope walkers. On this particular day, however, he would add something special to this amazing feat. He decided to wow the onlookers by adding a wheel barrel to his act. As he ascended to the top floor of one of the buildings, one could almost feel the pace of each person’s heartbeat quicken as the crowd cheered in anticipation. Amazingly, there was no safety net below. If, God forbid, Demetri should fall, it would certainly be to his death.
Demetri finally got to the top of the building. He wore his new skin-tight red suit to reduce wind drag. He seemed a little more zealous than usual that day. Usually, he would simply smile at the crowd below, wave, and set his sights on his destination as he started to walk. He sprinkled his palms with talc to cut down on the potential for slippage when he pushed the cart along the narrow path to the other side. Once he had adequate talc on his hands, hey clapped them together, causing a puff of smoke to come up from his hands. The crowd, overcharged with adrenaline as though they themselves were about to walk the rope, roared with excitement. He firmly grasped the cart handles and proceeded off the platform onto the rope. The crowd hushed as they looked on. But there was one incredibly zealous fan who blurted out, “Go Demetri! You’re the best!” Demetri looked at the fan, backed up three steps back onto the secure platform and said, “Do you believe I can do this sir?” The fan said, “Yes! Absolutely! You’re the best!” With a smile, Demetri said, “No. Are you sure I can do this?” With a gleeful giggle in his voice the fan said, “Yes Demerti! You’re the best!” So, Demetri said, “Come upstairs.” The crowd loved it.
The crowd looked up with envy as they waited for the zealous fan to appear at the great Demetri’s platform. When the fan arrives, Demtri reaches out his hand and the fan shakes it, as if to bid him farewell. Demetri, not letting the fan’s hand go, said, “No. Since you have so much confidence in my abilities here, please get into the wheel barrel so I can wheel you across. The crowd will love it.” The fan retracted his hand like he had just touched a hot stove and while running the opposite direction he said, “Are you crazy? I’m not getting in that thing. Suppose you fall?”
Well, it’s obvious that the faith of this zealous fan did not correspond to his profession. If he really thought Demetri was the best, he would have loved to make him look even better by jumping into the cart and taking the ride of a lifetime for 75 suspenseful and exhilarating feet to the other side. But such was not the case. The same holds true for many Christians today. Many of us have faith the size of Mount Everest, just until it is tested...
Excerpted with permission from, Know Peace Within by L. David Harris © 2005