Have you ever been frustrated with where you are in life? Perhaps you want to be at a certain point, emotionally, financially, spiritually, intellectually, or otherwise. To achieve such goals, you might endeavor to study, research, pray or what not. However, sometimes the results of our efforts are hard to see. It reminds me of some of the Karate Kid’s most important lessons – patience and discipline.
You see, Daniel wanted to be a karate expert now – right away (hence his rush to learn how to punch – i.e., “When am I going to learn how to punch?”) Mr. Miyagi reminded him that he “must first learn balance,” and then rocked him off the boat. In short, we desire to be at a certain destination, but the work to get there is rarely seen as important – never as awesome – but that’s just it. It is awesome.
It’s awesome in the original sense of the word (something which inspires awe). When we see someone who is disciplined and patient it does inspire awe and wonder – “How do you exercise so religiously? How do you stick to your diet? How did you learn to paint so well? Wow! I wish I could do that!”
If we’re patient and disciplined, our Karate Kid moment will come. What’s a Karate Kid moment? After Daniel had waxed the cars, painted the house, sanded the floors, and painted the fence, he was wiped out. He was tired and frustrated. He felt like a slave, and that Miyagi was not holding up his end of the bargain. In a profound moment, Daniel learned the awesomeness of patience and discipline.
After walking Daniel through the fundamentals he was learning, Mr. Miyagi mock-attacked him. To Daniel’s shock and awe, he was able to defend himself effortlessly. It was an awe-inspiring scene. It was impactful. At that moment, millions wanted to learn karate. We wanted to be able to do what Daniel could do.
Trusting in God is often like Karate Kid moments. When we put our lives in God’s hands, trusting in him, following his lead, we may not see our progress. We will get frustrated. We’ll get angry at God and scream, like Daniel did, “Oh bullsh!t, I’m going home!” These are the fruits of awesomeness – of breaking through. They can be hard to recognize because our expectations get in the way.
And even when we have an awesome Karate Kid moment, God’s answer will be, “Come back tomorrow.”
Enjoy the brief video clip.
Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson