A few years ago I hosted a men’s bible study group and formed an accountability relationship with another guy who later became my best friend of all time. Since then a lot has changed in my life (and his). I’ve remarried, had a second child (who is now crawling all over the place and needing lots of attention), I’ve been promoted at work to a supervisory position and work more (and more stressful) hours than before, and I’ve started back to school (online) to finally finish up my Bachelor’s degree. He’s moved to another city and works a lot, usually on a completely opposite schedule as I am on, so we hardly ever talk.
This past week a conversation I had with another friend reminded me of how helpful it was to my stability of mind and spiritual growth to have those men in my life on a daily or weekly basis, sharing life, sharing accountability, understanding the trials we each were going through because of the common bonds we had. So I’ve started looking into joining up with a men’s bible study group in the area. There are several to choose from but they almost all meet in the early morning and I am about the farthest thing from a morning person as you can find. I’m particularly interested in joining a group doing one of the three Men’s Fraternity studies but I’m waiting on several call-backs on those. In the meantime I was doing some reading online during my lunch break today and came across a quote which kind of blew me away. It was a quote from the book Becoming A Person Of Influence by Jim Dornan and John Maxwell about trusting another person and having them trust you … with their life:
“Back when we were growing up, we heard a lot of stories about the [Niagara] falls and the daredevil stunts people used to pull–like Annie Edson Taylor’s going over the falls in a barrel and things like that. One of the great legends of the town was French acrobat named Charles Blondin who lived from 1824 to 1897. He crossed over the entire width of the falls on a tightrope back in 1859. That must have taken nerves of steel since a fall certainly would have killed him. In fact he crossed the falls several times. He did it once with a wheelbarrow, another time blindfolded, and yet another time on stilts. They say he was quite remarkable. He continued performing even into his seventies.
One of the most incredible feats he performed was crossing the falls on a tightrope while carrying a man on his back. Can you imagine that? I guess just crossing over by himself wasn’t tough enough for him! But as difficult as that feat must have been on Blondin, I can’t help wondering how he got someone to go with him. That’s what you call trust: to climb onto the back of a man who is going to walk more than half a mile on a rope suspended over one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world.
I used to think about that as a kid. What would it be like to see the falls from up on a rope above them? And more important, what person would trust me to carry him across the falls the way that man trusted Blondin?”
The quote got me thinking a lot about trust. I can say with absolute certainty that I’ve never trusted anyone any where near that much. It’s a difficult thing to trust someone so completely that your life is (literally or figuratively/emotionally) in their hands. Not so much because you fear the “death” but because you fear the crushing defeat that they might not be as trustworthy and/or understanding as you had hoped they would be. As much as I miss (and someday soon hope to start getting back into) the on-going accountability of a men’s group, I wonder if I’ll ever reach the point in any relationship outside of that with my Savior in which I can trust someone enough to truly bare my soul and journey with them to the other side.