Published July 17, 2012

Paul's Epistle...
"The Other Side"

On June 15th a television audience of more than ten million people around the world watched a daring young aerialist do something that hadn't been done in more than a century – walk a tightrope across Niagara Falls.

Swirling winds, heavy mists and the deafening roar from the raging falls below didn't deter Nik Wallenda, 33, as he successfully carried his 40-pound balance-beam across a two-inch steel wire from the American side of the falls to the Canadian side.

One may wonder about the wisdom of even attempting such a stunt. But it's the type of thing his family, the "Flying Wallendas," has done for more than a century. In fact, Nik is the 7th generation of Wallenda aerialists.

And this Wallenda had a goal. When he got to the Canadian side, he was greeted by a customs official who asked him, "What is the purpose of your visit, sir?" His response: "To inspire people around the world."

And that he did.

It didn't get a lot of media attention, but Wallenda said he "prayed non-stop" during his walk. This professing Christian said, "The Bible says to pray without ceasing and I'm always praying."

Indeed, Wallenda wore a wireless microphone so that TV viewers could hear his every word as he spanned the roaring chasm below, beginning with, "My God, it's incredible, it's breathtaking."

But no one listening carefully could have missed his continuing words of praise to God: "Oh Lord, you're my Savior, you're my King. You're my Jesus, my Counselor. You're my Wisdom. I praise you Jesus. Thank you Jesus. Thank you, Lord. I praise you my Father."

Oh, that we all should be so bold – so public – about our profession of Christ!

Wallenda later said that his faith is a vital part of his everyday life, not just when doing the risky things that simply are part of what he does. "It's the most important part of my life. I believe in a thing called unmerited favor. It's undeserved, but God's involvement in my life has gotten me to where I am in my career."

Wallenda makes it clear that he's not immune to fear. "There's some nerves there, especially when I was walking directly over the brink of the falls. Mentally, your mind says, ‘What are you doing?'"

But Wallenda says his faith is just as important for his everyday life as it is for the successful completion of his feats of daring. "We all go through challenges. But once we get through them and we look back we say, ‘Look how much our lives have changed from going through that challenge.' If you can focus on the other side, it's that much easier."

"Focus on the other side!" There you have the key for each of us as we face life's difficult times. Our focus as Christians can be on "the other side." In our case, "the other side" is the life beyond this one. If our perspective in this life is based on the Lord's promises that believers will be with Him in heaven – eternally – it will make a great difference in how we live. Our daily priorities will inevitably be impacted.

Remember what the Lord said: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth... but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven... For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt. 6: 19-21).

And the Apostle Paul said it well: "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth... When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory" (Colossians 3: 1-2, 4).

Keep your focus on the priorities of "the other side." It will definitely help you successfully walk that "tightrope" which is everyday life.

- Paul


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