Bobby Leach

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13, N.K.J.V.)

Englishman Bobby Leach lived an interesting life. On July 25, 1911, he became the second person to pull off the stunt of going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Of course, the feat didn’t come without some injury. He spent the next six months in the hospital recovering from two broken kneecaps and a broken jaw.

Upon his recovery, Leach, who had once been a performer with the Ringling Brothers & Barnum Bailey circus, toured as a celebrity throughout Canada, England, and the United States. He made a good living speaking in the vaudeville shows and lecture halls of the day. For his act, he would show off his steel barrel, talk about his experience at Niagara Falls, and pose for pictures.

In 1920, Leach attempted to boost his declining fame by swimming Niagara Falls’ whirlpool rapids. He made several attempts to pull off the feat but was unsuccessful each time. What made those attempts all the more incredible was the fact that, by then, Leach was his sixties.

Then came 1926. While on a publicity tour in New Zealand, Leach slipped on an orange peel, took a bad spill, and broke his leg. Infection set in, and eventually the leg became eaten up with gangrene. The leg was amputated in an attempt to save Leach’s life, but it was to no avail. He died two months afterward.

Isn’t it ironic that Bobby Leach survived his daredevil attempts at Niagara Falls but saw the end of his life begin when he slipped on a simple orange peel? In Knight’s Book of Illustrations, Stewart Anderson uses Leach’s life as an illustration of spiritual truth. He says:

Some great temptations, which roar around us like Niagara, may leave us unharmed. But a little, insignificant incident may cause our downfall simply because we are not looking for it.

The truth is, each of us runs the risk of getting into trouble anytime we drop our spiritual guard up, stop paying attention, and assume we’ve got everything under control. That’s just when some “little” temptation will bring us down. Keep this in mind as you move through life, and be sure to watch out for those orange peels!

This entry was posted in Backsliding, Personal Holiness, Sin, Temptation and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Bobby Leach

  1. SPTP2011 says:

    I love the line: little, insignificant incidents – The Evil One know exactly how to “slip” us up on little insignificant incidents
    Great Post
    Prayers for your day

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