Teen Talk: Walking on a tightrope

Life’s challenges seem difficult, but God is there to help.

Natalie Zirbel

Growing up, I lived on a farm. My siblings and I loved living on the farm, and there were always so many things to do. We were very adventurous, and every day in the summer we would run through the barns and the pens. Nothing scared us. Life was easy, and we had no worries.

One of our favorite things to do in the barns was race up and down the aisle, feeling the breeze rush by us. It was even more fun when we were given an obstacle to race around. One summer, my dad installed a break in the aisle of the barn that split it in half. This break was about six feet deep and five feet long. The only way to cross this break was walking across the poles on the top. The poles were about two inches thick and 6 inches apart. To the adults and to a 12-year-old like me, this didn’t slow us down much, but my younger sister struggled. It was too hard for her to balance and walk across as easily as everyone else did.

I recall running through the barns with my sister one day. As we reached the break, I carefully walked across the pole, pretending it was a tightrope and acting like I was part of a circus act. As I turned around, I expected her to do the same. Instead, I saw my sister crying at the other side. “I need help! I am going to fall through!” I could see that she was terrified and had no idea what to do.

I pondered how to help her across. I walked halfway down the pole and held out my hand. She didn’t trust me though. She was certain she was still going to fall and was convinced there was no way to get across. I asked her to just try it, but she insisted on staying where she was.

We decided to end the fun for that day and went back in the house. My mom asked her why she was crying, and my sister said, sobbing, “I was scared. I couldn’t do it. I was going to fall and then I would never get back out and no one could help me!”

I have thought about her fears and those words since. As we grow up, there are so many times we say to ourselves, “I can’t do this. There is no way.” But God responds, saying, “I can help you do this.”

We face so many temptations that are so easy to fall into. It is as easy as missing a step on that tightrope and slipping up. Just like that break in the aisle of the barn, some temptations and troubles can seem impossible to get around. Sometimes the only way around it is to walk across it, barely balancing on that pole, not being sure if you can stand firm and stay strong. Thankfully, God holds out his hand to us to keep us standing firm, and he walks us across the scary tightrope of life. Trusting God is the sure way to make it safely across to the other side.

When we are unsure of what to do or how to get ourselves out of a bad situation, we can put our trust in God to lead us to the other side. He is waiting there with loving arms. We just need to trust, and God will handle getting us across the tightrope.

Natalie Zirbel, a 2019 graduate of Manitowoc Lutheran High School, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, is a member at Morrison Zion, Greenleaf, Wisconsin.



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Author: Natalie Zirbel 
Volume 106, Number 12
Issue: December 2019

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