Tightrope Walking

Rope walking or funambulism has been around for centuries. Maneuvering across braided cord while suspended mid-air, this entertainment is dangerous. If you’re like me, sometimes in life, it can feel like you’re walking on a thin wire. It sure would be easier if it were a fence rail or a curb that didn’t move, but as kids we fell off those too.

To glean some skills in getting through those tight spots, let’s lean closer. How do they do it? Well, they start out on the ground. That’s helpful. It’s not so far to fall. First, they walk a straight line with arms stretched out for balance, keeping head up, and eyes looking to where they’re going. Like a ballet, fluidity come through repetition as they learn all the intricacies of movement.

The key to balance is keeping your center of mass (weight) over your base of support (your feet). As mentioned, a pole can be used to counter gravity’s pull. The closer to the wire, the better the balance, so dips are often used to recenter. And although we feel sturdier standing on two feet, a single leg is easier to balance upon up high. Often, the acrobat will balance on one leg and dip. Uh, it’s not for the faint of heart! Another tool used are soft looking leather slippers. (Let’s call them shoes instead, shall we? No slipping up there!) These shoes are malleable, they mold around the foot, allowing it to better grip the wire. Are you ready to climb up on a rope yet!?

I’m glad that training starts low and moves higher. The crazy fact is that it’s just as easy to balance higher up as it is low to the ground. If you’ve noticed, those high-wire walkers use long poles, (sometimes 40 feet long) because the poles themselves dip at the ends which draws the performer’s center closer to the wire. What looks natural so high up has been refined in practice.

Being ‘grounded’ to an aerialist takes years to cultivate. It means being prepared and focused. As faith-walkers, we too, have tools to keep us on the elevated high-wire of life. The rope that entangles many, has been unfurled and is anchored securely into rock. We can walk confidently in our slip-ons, our message of hope. Our daily practice of sitting at His feet refines our testimony to His faithfulness and keeps our core close to our Center of Gravity. Oh, we mustn’t forget the ‘cross’ bar of balance that we’ve been given, as we don’t carry it alone. His strength helps us to hold it. When weak, we keep our head up and eyes fixed on Him, each day a step closer.

And if we’ve learned our lessons well, we just keep walking, regardless of the wind gusts. Like the silence of a deer in the forest or a bird in flight, we too are visible in motion. And as precarious as the highwire looks, our balance was perfected on a firm foundation.  In spotlight or darkness, He leads us boldly in the narrow path ahead.


Debbie G

#HighwireWalking #WalkingEquipment #SpiritualHighWire #GetOffTheFence #WalkingTheLine

Some good background references:

Psalm 16:8 and Hebrews 12:2(keeping your focus), John 14:6 (His way), Luke 6:48 (firm foundation), Colossians 2:8 (entangling cords)

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