To Walk a Wire Across Niagara Falls

by | Jun 11, 1997 | Experiencing God, Focus

Half a century ago [this was written in 1931] a man was to walk a wire across Niagara Falls with another man on his shoulders. After weeks of preliminary practice, as the final moment for the event drew near, the rope walker cautioned his young colleague in words like these: “We are about to risk our lives. I am to walk the wire. The whole responsibility is mine. You have nothing to do but match my movements. If I sway to the left, let yourself sway with me. If I sway to the right, do the same.

Under no circumstances try to save yourself, for there must be only one will in this adventure, and that will is mine. You must submerge yours to ensure harmony, for without perfect unison we are both lost. There is only one thing for you to do – sway with me.”

As they drew near the opposite side, the unexpected happened. The long vibration of the wire broke in the centre into two waves, and each of these broke again into two, and so on, in accordance with the law of vibration, until the shortened wavelike movements became so violent that the man could scarcely keep his feet where he placed them. It was a perilous moment, but the feat was accomplished, and the spectacular escapade was a success, holding a place on the first page of the newspapers.

After this, the young man who had played a secondary part settled down to private life, married, became an active leader in Christian endeavour and an elder in a certain church. And he used to say: “I learned more religion on the wire that day than in all my life. I learned that the only sane and safe way to live is to sway with God.”

By Frank S. Arnold, Signs of the Times, November 24, 1931, Dale Galusha


To Walk a Wire Across Niagara Falls