Lorri Dudley

Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: Niagara Falls

The Risk – To Trust or Not to Trust?

One hundred and ninety feet above a gorge of swirling turbulent water on a rope 1300 feet long and only two inches in diameter, Charles Blondin was the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. In Niagara Horseshoe FallsJune of 1859, 25,000 people gathered to see him perform the feat or watch him plummet to a watery grave below. Not only did Blondin make the trip across and back, by 1896 he’d crossed over 300 times performing stunts like sitting on the rope and having a bottle of wine, strapping a Daguerreotype camera to his back and taking pictures of the crowd, crossing with his body shackled, and walking with a sack placed over his head. He even brought a stove upon which he cooked an omelet and lowered it by rope to the Maid of the Mist boat below.

Charles Blondin and Manager Harry ColcordIn my opinion, the most trusting feat was on the part of his manager, Harry Colcord, who crossed Niagara on Blondin’s back. Blondin told Colcord, “Look up, Harry…. You are no longer Colcord, you are Blondin. Until I clear this place be a part of me, mind, body, and soul. If I sway, sway with me. Do not attempt to do any balancing yourself.” (Daredevil of Niagara Falls, Abbot, Smithsonianmag.com Oct. 18, 2018)

Trust is a powerful force. 

Steve Covey in his book, The Speed of Trust, says if trust is removed it, “will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, [and] the deepest love.” (Soundview Executive Book Summaries, Speed of Trust, Vol. 28, No. 11, Part 1, November 2006)

Trust is risky.

Trusting someone is challenging. What if they let me down? Relinquishing control is hard. What if something I need doesn’t get done? We are an independent nation. We’d prefer to fix the problem ourselves. However, a lack of trust slows things down. It also keeps relationships superficial, measured, and distant. In order to reach a deeper level, in order to build trust, we have to take the first step and trust someone else. Steven Covey points out that trust “has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every dimension of life.”

It is even riskier not to trust.

Many of Blondin’s spectators believed he could make it across the gorge, yet only Colcord had the trust to climb onto Blondin’s back and cling to him knowing his life lay literally in the balance. He trusted Blondin enough to sway with him as the strong winds rocked the rope.

Life will have valleys and gorges. Who are you trusting to get you over them? Are you picking up a balancing stick and stepping onto the swaying rope yourself? Or, are you climbing onto God’s back and allowing Him to carry you over? Are you sacrificing trust to control the small, fleeting moments of your life, or are you trusting in the One who’s bigger than the gorge—the One who controls your ultimate destiny?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not trust in your own understanding. Agree with Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

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Buffalo in field

Be a Buffalo

Niagara FallsWith a wide-stance, I braced myself against the reeling of the boat. Drenched to the bone, I held my camera out to capture the splendor of Niagara Falls. The Maid of the Mist is a misnomer. It should be called the Maid of the Torrential Downpour. No matter what the name, the vast expanse of the falls is impressive and well worth visiting.

600,000 gallons per second of water cascade over just the Horseshoe Falls alone. The speed of the falling water can reach 68mph and the rapids below up to 30mph.  The Maid of the Mist’s engines revved and fought against the strong current to provide us with an up-close view of this natural wonder.

While in Buffalo, NY right near Niagara, I was told the difference between the cow Buffalo in fieldand the buffalo. When a cow senses a storm approaching, it runs away from the direction of the storm. The problem with cows is that they aren’t faster than the storms. They struggle through the wind and the rain as they try to outrun it. In doing so, they actually end up running alongside the storm prolonging their wet misery. Buffalo, on the other hand, wait for the storm to arrive then turn and charge into the tempest. Somehow the buffalo seem to understand that by heading into the storm they can minimize its duration and suffering.

Are you a cow or a buffalo?

I admit. I don’t like conflict. Not many people do. Which is often why individuals with debt problems ignore bills as they pile up. Calls to problem customers who need extra hand-holding get pushed off until later. And, why working spouses stay longer at the office instead of coming home to work out marital problems. One thing I have learned is that facing difficult issues is more effective than running from them. Just like the cow can’t outrun the storm, undealt with problems will also track you down usually increasing in strength as they fester.

So how can we be a buffalo and not a cow?

  • Acknowledge there is a problem. Is there something that you’re avoiding? A subject you’re extra defensive or sensitive about? Something that causes you discomfort or pain. Usually, that is a sign of an underlying problem.
  • Accept that God is bigger than your pain. Pray about the problem. Know that ultimately God is in control and trust he is looking out for your best interests
  • Address the problem. Communication is key. It is a crucial part of the healing process for both parties. Open up about the hurt and pain. However, be careful not to let your emotions rule you. If you need to go back and pray more until you can take a calmer position than do so but don’t use it as an excuse to continue avoiding the issue.
  • Adapt to the outcome. Sometimes the storm may batter us, but remember facing it will get us through it faster. God uses trials to develop our character. He is growing us as a person and making us more into his likeness.
  • Appreciate the transformation. Storms may cause some damage, but they also bring a much-needed change, e., cooler or warmer weather. Don’t focus on the aftermath, concentrate on what you learned and how you are stronger for it.

Always remember, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

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