Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Tightrope Walker and the Wheelbarrow

Niagara FallsA world-renowned tightrope walker arrived at Niagara Falls one day and immediately set up shop.  As he placed his tightrope across the dangerous gap and prepared to make his first crossing, a crowd grew in number and in anticipation.  Suddenly, they heard him call out, “Who believes that I can walk across these falls on this tightrope?”  Most in the crowd were not sure, but a few urged him on, “We do, we do!”  He proceeded to step onto the tightrope and walked across, much like you and I would cross a deserted small-town street.

He then turned to the crowd and asked, “Do you believe that I can cross these falls with a blindfold covering my eyes?”  Several people gasped at the mere thought of such a proposition, but a growing number in the swelling crowd called out, “We believe you can!”  Again, he made his way across the raging falls, this time unable to see where his next step might land.  The ease of his achievement amazed everyone, for they had never seen such a sight.

A short time later, he appeared with a wheelbarrow and the question, “Do you believe that I can make the crossing pushing a wheelbarrow in front of me?”  The surging crowd cheered him on, and again he did not disappoint them; he made the crossing with no difficulty.

Finally, he turned to the crowd and asked, “Do you believe that I can cross these falls pushing the wheelbarrow with somebody in it?”  This time, the throngs of people knew better, and they answered, as with one voice, “We believe!  We believe!”  Then pausing for just a moment, and as if looking at each one of them, he asked, “Who will volunteer to sit in the wheelbarrow?”

The impact of his question slowly settled on each person and, one by one, they turned and walked away.  Most people, it seemed, had come to acknowledge that the tightrope walker could do what he claimed he would do.  But no one was willing to trust him with their life.