Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Post #72: Are You a Daredevil?

Last Friday night, I did something I virtually never do---I turned on the TV (without the help of my children). I'd never heard of Nik Wallenda, and I had no idea he was about to walk across Niagara Falls on a wire, but as he made his way across the falls, from the US into Canadian air space, I said to my family, "The next time I'm afraid of doing something, I'm going to remember this."

As soon as Nik was on the ground, customs officials approached him for his passport and asked him what the purpose was for his visit. Nik replied without hesitation, "To inspire people all over the world." He certainly did that.

Now, I've always thought that people who risk their lives like this were crazy, or had a death wish, or were chronically bored adrenalin junkies. (Granted, I've never even taken a dive to catch a ball, and I think jumpy houses are dangerous, so my opinion is iffy, at best!) But I, along with my entire family, became enthralled and inspired by Nik Wallenda, who, in an interview, said, "I was born to do this---it's why I'm here."

Nik was born a 7th generation member of the traveling circus troupe, the "Great Wallendas," and his great grandfather, Karl Wallenda, founded the "Flying Wallendas." At age 73, Karl fell to his death, four months before Nik's birth.

Staring Down Danger

What is a daredevil, anyway?" Spiritually, humanity's greatest challenge perhaps is to overcome fear. I don't believe in the "devil," per se, but if I did, I'd say that fear was his greatest weapon and tool. Fear is ultimately what causes war, crime, hatred, violence, addiction, and self-loathing. So when someone courageously stands (or walks) in harm's way, he is effectively thumbing his nose at the "devil." He is saying, "I see you there, but you don't control me. I choose to have faith instead." That's huge.

Are you a daredevil? If you're like most of us you are courageous is some areas of life, and a little wimpy in others. Maybe you take physical risks, but avoid emotional ones. Maybe you extend yourself mentally, but shrink back spiritually. We're not all here to walk the high wire, but I do believe we're here to overcome perceived limitations and face our fears.

So, what area of your life is holding you back?