September 2016

Life’s high wire


O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the Earth!

In a reflection on Psalm 8, Eddie Askew talks of the time he saw a man walking on a high wire. As he walks on the wire, he corrects the ever-present tendency to overbalance, to over correct, by gently shifting his centre of gravity towards the other side. It’s a continual compensation, a living tension without overbalancing in any direction. It also needs a sensitive feel for the wire underfoot, a straight and narrow way!
We all need a similar balance in life, but it is so hard to find. We Christians often overemphasise one side of the truth as it were the whole thing, and the result is a wobble that almost makes us fall off the wire.

The miracle of human life is not that God created us at all, but that He made us with great possibilities. When we are in danger of falling into regret or shame we need the correcting balance of remembering that we ‘have been made just a little lower than the angels’ (Ps 8:5) Not doormats but children of God, with talents and abilities He can use and develop.

Sometimes though, we need an opposite correcting balance. Today’s world suffers from people who behave as if they were God, with no mystery, no responsibility beyond them. The art of living is of course in the balance.

Most high wire walkers use a long pole for greater stability. Though many of us wave our hands around trying to find our balance, real equilibrium requires holding on to ‘the pole’ of Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith as Paul calls him. It does take practice, especially when we self-consciously start the journey, but time will come when the balance seems so natural that we appear to forget the hard work it once was and we can get on with walking across life’s wire.


September 2016