Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith and media: 9/21/20

Life is like a tightrope. To get to where you need to go (aka that place your positive God-given passions) you need to maintain balance, take it one step at a time, exercise discipline and be free from debilitating fear.  If you master those things, you’ll not only get through life and accomplish your goals – but the journey itself will be an exhilarating experience.

Nobody knows more about literally walking life’s tightrope than Nik Wallenda. The seventh-generation member of the legendary Wallenda family is known throughout the world for his astounding high-wire feat. He holds eleven world records, including the highest four-level eight-person pyramid on the wire and the highest and longest bicycle ride on a wire. And, oh yeah, there was that time he hung from a helicopter – by his teeth!

Nik was two when he learned to walk the wire while holding his mother’s hand. From there it was onto record-breaking performances across the United States and around the world. In 2012, He fulfilled his lifelong dream to become the only person to walk directly over the precipice of Niagara Falls, an event that was broadcast live by ABC. The next year he became the first person to walk a wire across the Grand Canyon. That epic feat aired live on the Discovery Channel and was witnessed in 178 countries (breaking social media records in the process). In November of 2014, his next Discovery special took him Chicago where he walked blindfolded between two skyscrapers. In June of last year, ABC was live as he and his sister Lijana Wallenda became the first people to ever walk high wire above Times Square. They were 25 stories (more than 1,200 feet) over the hard pavement below. And, just last March, ABC aired Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda. This time the seemingly-fearless 41-year-old was in Masaya, Nicaragua where he became the first person to walk over an active volcano.

Now, in his new book Facing Fear:  Step Out in Faith and Rise Above What’s Holding You Back (Thomas Nelson), co-authored with11-time New York Times bestselling author Don Yaeger, Wallenda is sharing the life lessons he’s learned along the way.

Besides serving as a practical guide to overcoming fears, Facing Fear tells the dramatic story of how Nik himself battled to overcome a bout with the crippling emotion that nearly ended his career. His battle began following a horrific accident in 2017 when an eight-person pyramid he and other members of his famous family were practicing collapsed, sending five of them hurtling thirty feet to the ground. Miraculously, they all survived but the incident had a profound emotional impact on Nic who, for the first time his life, felt the sort of deep fear that impacted his ability to pursue his passion. He would have to conquer it if he was ever to get back out on a high wire.

“I want to help everyday people step out in faith even when they’re afraid,” Wallenda says. “Most of us will never walk a tightrope, but we face things that scare us every day. Whether putting ourselves out there socially or seeking a dream job, all of us allow anxieties and fears to hold us back.”

As a renowned aerialist who makes a living by placing one foot in front of the other and trusting his training and skill to keep him alive, Wallenda shares his personal struggle and says he hopes his story can help others overcome the fears that are holding them back from facing life’s challenges and reaching their goals. “Never give up!” is his life’s motto. It’s a good one.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 

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