Imagine being at Niagara Falls and a ‘crazy’ bloke called Blondin is demonstrating his amazing tight rope skills over the raging waters. He walks across blindfolded, he stops to cook and eat an omelette, he even makes it across on stints. After his final stunt- walking across with a wheelbarrow full of potatoes- he asks you, “Do you believe I can take a man across the tightrope in this wheelbarrow?”
How would you respond? Most people would believe he can do it. They’ve seen enough evidence to do so. After you affirmed his ability to do such a thing, Blondin invites you to “hop in”. How would you respond now? Would you trust him enough to put your life in his hands?
This scenario has been posed this week, as an icebreaker, to 240 Year 8 students at Sandringham to help them understand what hope, belief and trust really mean. I hope to get to the other side, I believe he can do it and I trust him enough (or not) to step into the wheelbarrow.
The rest of the lesson explores how CS Lewis’ book, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, mirrors the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection and how central it is to the Christian faith. The students delved into the fantasy world of Narnia, where the creatures of Narnia hoped for the end of winter and The White Witch’s reign and believed and trusted that Aslan was the one who could do it.
They also left the lesson with a (maybe new) understanding that Christians are people who intellectually believe Jesus really did die and rise from the dead, but they also step into the metaphorical wheelbarrow and trust him completely for their hope of eternal life in God’s presence to become a reality.