Belief or faith?

On September 15, 1860, the Frenchman Charles Blondin, completed a quite remarkable feat. Blondin was a Funambulist, to you and me, a tightrope walker.

He set up a tightrope right across the entire span of the Niagara Falls.

It was 50 metres above the falls and over 360 metres in length. As you can imagine, a large crowd gathered to watch him attempt this amazing stunt.

Taking his pole in his hands to help him maintain his balance, he carefully mounted the rope. The people below and on the other side of the falls watched with baited breath. Once he had gained his balance he set off on his amazing walk and slowly but surely, successfully negotiated his way to the other side, to huge cheers.

As the cheers died down, Blondin prepared himself for the return walk. This time he decided to do something even more fantastic.

He produced a wheelbarrow and asked the crowd if they thought that he could push somebody in the barrow to the other side.

Everyone said, “Yes of course we believe that you can do it”, but when he asked for a volunteer to get into the barrow the crowd fell silent.

Although they all believed, in theory, that he could do it no one was prepared to put that belief into action and to take the risk. Eventually one man did come forward and got into the barrow.

Once again the crowd watched, in complete astonishment, as Blondin successfully made the return trip.

The only man who was prepared to trust his life to Blondin was Henry Colcord, who was Blondin’s manager; he, more than anyone else, knew what he was capable of.

We live in a country where the majority of people claim to be Christians but where only between five and 10 per cent of people attend church on a weekly basis.

Sadly, although the majority of people say they believe in God, they are not prepared to put that belief into practice.

Our Christian faith should be more important to us than merely being a sort of insurance policy: something that we hope we never need but something we can fall back upon at a time of crisis.

Genuine faith in God should affect the way that we live the whole of our lives.

Rev Dave Stevenson

Priest in charge of Brinsley with Underwood & St Mary’s