Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Balance: A Story of Faith, Family, and Life on the Line by Nik Wallenda (with David Ritz)

Nik Wallenda hails from the lengendary famous high wire walking family, the Wallendas.  His family has been performing on the high wire for 7 generations.  He, himself, has been on the wire since he was 2 years old, granted only a couple feet off the ground when he was little, but you get the idea.  Performing and pushing himself to new heights and challenges is literally in his blood and he has broken many world records.

I had known of the Wallendas before.  Nik's grandfather infamously fell to his death while performing on the high wire as did other members of his family in separate incidents.  But Nik carries on his family's heritage believing he is called to not only do daring, thrilling feats on the high wire but to share Christ through his giftings that God has given him.

Nik Wallenda came across my radar when I first watched his famous walk across Niagra Falls and he had me hooked.  Miked not only to his dad, but into the network's boards, and not knowing his mike was "hot", I watched as he glorified Jesus and was so thankful for the opportunity to do what he was doing and let God know it.  It was mesmerizing.  Then I watched him do it again across the Grand Canyon and in Chicago between two buildings.  So when this book came up I was super interested to find out how he came to his strong faith and the story of his family.

This book was really good.  Nik is very upfront about his shortcomings.  How being in the business for all these years has required that he be very particular and in control, but how not leaving that at the door when he came home almost caused his marriage to fall apart even though he and his wife, also a performer, loved each other dearly.  I really appreciated his honesty in how he really had to seek God and still battles it today, with God's help.  He tells his story of how his great-grandfather has influenced his life, how his mom and dad instilled faith in the Lord in him from his youngest years and how it all leads his decisions and life today.   Just as he uses a balancing pole to keep from falling on the high wire Nik relates God to be his balancing pole in life to keep him from falling...to a keep a balance between ego and humbleness, drive and being led, control and faith to keep him from falling in life.

"Yes, I have a job to do.  Yes I was born to do that job.  And yes, the aim of that job is to thrill people by performing seemingly impossible feats.  But, in realizing those feats, if I fail to reflect the glory of God I have accomplished nothing."
Nik Wallenda
Balance:  A Story of Faith, Family and Life on the Line
pg. 164

A very interesting peek into the life and thoughts of a man who literally puts his life into God's hands in every way yet never expects that God "magically" keeps him falling.

If you've watched any of his walks, heard of his family, are interested in what makes daredevil performers tick or just like a good autobiography this is a great read.  I give it a 10/10.

Linked:  Semicolon Saturday Review of Books


Faith said...

This sounds like a non fiction book I would enjoy!! I remember watching him go across those buildings AND the Niagara Falls one. I had NO idea he was a Christian!!! that is awesome..and the quote...EXCELLENT! am going to put this on my must read list!!

Susanne said...

If you listened carefully on those walks he prayed the whole way across. And not the kind of prayer asking God to save him from falling but a glorifying, personal, intimate kind of praying praising Jesus and being thankful for what he got to do. It was like it was just him and Jesus out there with no one watching. It was really awesome!

Karen said...

This sounds like a fascinating story, but truthfully I am so afraid of heights that my stomach felt nervous just reading the review. It's interesting to me to hear about different people and their faith. Inspiring, for sure.