"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. "
On Friday, June 15th, Nik Wallenda made world history by crossing the Niagara Falls on a tight rope wire. I had the good fortune to watch the event on tv. A crowd of over 100,000 people were gathered on the Canadian side of the Falls and, according to Niagara this Week, an estimated 18 million people tuned in to watch it on television. According to the same paper the "coverage of his watch featured snippets of the back and forth between father and son, including Wallenda thanking Jesus several times."
Consider that, for a moment.
One night, 18 million people watched a man do what he was created to do, praising God every step of the way.
A more perfect testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit, I cannot think of.
It was, in so many respects, a total body experience of the power and presence of God.
As a child I had the opportunity to see Tino Wallenda and his family at a church outreach. Yes, it really was a sort of highwire evangelism. My understanding is that Tino is now involved in a prison ministry. Without a doubt, this is a different approach to evangelism, but God doesn't call everyone to be a preacher.
He does, however, call all of us to give glory to Him and spread the Gospel through whatever means we have available to us. He also calls us to live with a heart if thanksgiving... all the time.
And so, because of one family's commitment to obey Him, 18 million people saw a man thanking God publicly for an experience like no other. To experience something like walking over the Falls is a great gift. But, to experience it knowing Who made the Falls, Who is giving you this experience, and Who deserves your praise and thanks is even greater.
I am thankful that God places people like the Wallenda's in this world. Much like Eric Liddle, Nik Wallenda feels God's pleasure when he does what he has been created to do, and he responds out of that sense.
If 18 million people had a window into my life for half an hour, would they see the same thankfulness? Would they see me glorifying God? Sometimes, I am not so sure. There are many days where I can barely squeeze out a drop of contentment from my soul, much less thankfulness. Thankfulness becomes not so much the immediate, heartfelt reaction I would like it to be, but a mental discipline. It is difficult to give thanks while cleaning out a not-quite-three-year old's underwear. It certainly doesn't rank with crossing Niagara Falls.
But, this is my life. I am at home with four children, not necessarily doing what I would like but instead doing what I am called. This too brings glory to God.