Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Ultimate High Wire Act

“Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12

Have you ever heard of Phillipe Petit?

In 1974, after months of careful planning, this Frenchman snuck a two-party team and hundreds of pounds of equipment into the two World Trade Center buildings, took everything to the top; and evading guards, open elevator shafts with drops of close to 1,000 feet and the darkness of night, they strung a high wire across the 200 foot expanse between the two towers. Then, in the early morning light, as the city of New York was beginning to awake from its restless slumber, he began to walk that tight-rope over 1,100 above the concrete, with no net or safety harnesses. He was so high that people on the ground had trouble seeing him at first. And over the course of 90 minutes he walked back and forth eight times, sat on the wire and even laid down on it right in the middle! Of course, when he was finished he was promptly arrested.

Was he crazy?

Some people say he was, others called him courageous, still others say he was an artist. For himself, he simply says that he needed to conquer the towers. It’s quite sobering at this point, knowing that they no longer stand.

But you know what? I think at times in our lives, we do something much more crazy and dangerous than Phillipe Petit ever did. That’s right, we might not ever climb out on a 1 inch wide wire risking physical death. But how often do we walk an even more dangerous tightrope with sin. Scriptures tell us that the “wages” of sin is death; not physical death, but eternal death. And yet we can still find ourselves out there on that high wire, risking the fires and suffering of hell—for what? Momentary pleasure? The thrill of getting away with something?

You know the interesting thing about Phillip Petit is that after this feat much of his life fell apart. He broke up with his girlfriend and he and his best friend became estranged—and both were instrumental in helping him achieve his goal. And the results of sin are so similar—it offers us so much, but it never follows through and in the end we are left alone and broken. Let’s make a decision today to stop walking this tightrope between eternal life and death. And if we ever do find ourselves out on that high wire of sin again, let’s get to confession as soon as possible and get back on the solid ground of our relationship with Christ.

Dear Jesus, please help me get rid of my pride, which tricks me into believing I am secure in my sin, even as it is leading me to death. May I learn to cooperate with Your grace so as to build my life on the rock of You. Amen.

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