No, this is not an Olympic sport. It is far too dangerous, too deadly to be a sport. Chasm crossing is a high stakes job that not many will undertake, although there is no shortage of chasms needing to be crossed, just a shortage of people willing to cross them. (or to at least attempt to cross them) And that’s understandable, given the risks involved, the low rate of success and the skill set necessary to be a chasm crosser. In chasm crossing, the risks are great but the rewards are even greater if one succeeds.
I think the job description that comes closest to that of a chasm crosser, is that of a tight rope walker in the circus – if they are working without nets. Chasms don’t come with nets. Too bad, because the divide is so deep, that if the connection across the chasm, be it bridge or tightrope, fails, then the crosser falls into the abyss and is lost forever. This could explain why not many choose to be chasm crossers or even builders of bridges across life’s many chasms. However, those attempting to cross to the other side need a secure connection on which to cross over.
How did life become so chasm filled anyway? It probably started with the cracks common to everyday life – those small fissures formed when there is freezing and thawing as the seasons come and go. Those cracks left unattended, become crevices of ever-growing width and depth, eventually becoming today’s chasms. These chasms are formidably deep and equally daunting in width, deterring all but the bravest chasm crossers to even consider bridging the gap to the other side. Chasms continue to gain depth and width with the years until eventually those on each side lose sight of the other and all communication ceases, leaving a silence as deep as the chasm itself.
There is a story about the deepest chasm of all in Luke 16. It is the story of a very rich man and a beggar named Lazarus, who spent his life at the rich man’s gate begging for crumbs from the rich man’s table. After they both died this is what happened next, “The rich man . . . In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, . . . ‘send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ ” Abraham replied that he couldn’t send Lazarus to the rich man saying, “And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.” Then the rich man asked, ” ‘I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment. . . . if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He (Abraham) said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ” (Luke 16:23-31)
I guess if there are chasms I desire to cross in this life, I had better be crossing them now while I still have the chance because the chasm that separates for eternity is an uncrossable one. The thing is, my current chasms seem uncrossable, but they are not. That is a lie of my enemy. It may take courage and perseverance, it may not be easy, but “with God all things are possible” – even chasm crossing. What could possibly span such a wide separation and fill in such a deep divide? Is there a tightrope strong enough or what materials could build a bridge capable of carrying me safely across the chasm? I find the answer in Ephesians 3:17-18 –
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Love, Christ’s love, that’s the connection strong enough to carry me across the chasm. In fact, it was God’s love for me and for you, that brought Jesus here to earth, spanning the chasms of time and of space and of our sinful rejection of our Creator – the chasm between the physical and the spiritual, between the finite and the infinite, between earth and heaven, between today and eternity. Jesus’s love for us crossed all those uncrossable chasms and brought Him here where He shared meals with His disciples and walked miles in our human shoes. (both literally and figuratively, remember – they traveled mostly on foot in those days)
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Jesus crossed the widest, deepest chasms to come here and die in my place, so that I could spend eternity with Him. His love is wide enough and deep enough to see me across all the chasms I must conquer as I find my way to Him and to all those He would send me to, who seem unreachable due to the size of the chasm between us. But Jesus is the Master chasm crosser, I just have to follow in His footsteps across the divide. He will not let my foot slip. He will make a way.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19)
“. . . deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)
being a Christ follower somedays requires being a chasm crosser –
sincerely, Grace Day