No one should be ashamed to rely on God publicly

Published 9:04 am Friday, September 20, 2013

By the Rev. Katie Pals
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Kiester

One Sunday night this summer I watched expert highline artist Nik Wallenda walk on a wire across the Grand Canyon. If any of you watched as well you could hear him praying for strength, for calm winds and wires, and praising God throughout the whole grueling 22 minutes.

My first reaction to this audio was a bit of pleasant surprise that this vehement prayer was allowed to be broadcast on television with so many people watching. My next reaction was to feel a little uncomfortable. Here Nik was, incessantly praying with every step, his life literally hanging in the balance, and I skeptically wondered “is this really necessary or is he just putting on a show?”

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His prayers added to the drama of the moment, and while I was glad they gave him courage and comfort I was a bit uneasy about him making such a spectacle out of his faith.

I think many might share a bit of my cynicism because it dominates our culture today. I’ve been thinking about it a lot ever since, however, and I realized that Nik was doing exactly what all of us are called to do.

In a tense moment, he relied on God, and he wasn’t ashamed to share that. Every inch, every step, were placed into God’s hands, praising God for his greatness all along the way.

We all rely on almighty God for every breath and our very life; we just aren’t always so faithful in recognizing it. We are called to praise God in all we say and do, but just aren’t always quite so bold. We are to live in a way that proclaims God, to never stop turning to him and share in daring ways how great God’s love and grace are and what he’s done for us.

I look at this community and the world, and wonder what it would be like if we lived more like this? It seems so out of context and a little strange in our world today, but Nik served as an inspiration and reminder that all of us as God’s children need not be ashamed to rely on him and praise him every second of every day.