Tightrope walker Nik Wallenda puts his faith in his training — and his God.
Sunday night, Wallenda walked across a gorge near the Grand Canyon without a safety harness, successfully completing the act a year after he performed a similar stunt over Niagara Falls.
Many who watched Wallenda’s high-wire walk noticed his frequent mention of God, calling on Jesus to steady the wire and keep him calm while also praising God for “this beautiful view.” Before his walk, Wallenda prayed with megachurch pastor and bestselling author Joel Osteen.
“These feel slippery, there’s dust on the cable… Thank you Jesus, for this beautiful view. … Praise you, Jesus. Oh, I love you. Thank you, Jesus. … Lord, help this cable calm down. … Yes, Jesus. Oh, you’re my savior. Yes, Jesus. Yes, Jesus. … God, you’re so good. Thank you for this opportunity, Lord. … Lord, help me to relax, Father. … Help me to calm down, and relax. You are my king. Help me to relax, Lord. … Yes, Lord. Relaxed. Oh, Lord, peace. … I don’t want to talk to anyone, Dad. The winds are way worse than I expected. … I need to relax more. Hard to relax when you’re 1,500 feet above the canyon. … Thank you, Jesus. … What happens is an optical illusion, and it freaks you out. Not fun.”
Wallenda, who comes from a line of high-wire performers, says he walks not in spite of his faith in Jesus, but because of it. He’s not tempting God, he’s honoring him. Here’s what he wrote in Guideposts:
“I didn’t know why God had given [our family] this gift, but I knew in my heart that the only way to honor it was to use it. Even if it was difficult, even if it was dangerous. Danger was real, but fear was a choice. I would choose faith instead — after all, that was a part of my family legacy too. Everything we did was for the glory of God.”