Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wax-On, Wax-Off: Learning Lessons Through the Ordinary

The Karate Kid has always been one of my favorite movies from the 80's. Maybe it’s because we watched it every other day, or the fact that my brother resembled Ralph Macchio. Watching The Karate Kid became as much a ritual as brushing my teeth and playing with my Barbie dolls.

When I became a Christian, this classic 80’s movie became a symbolism for something far greater than warm fuzzy memories. It became a sort of metaphor for my relationship with God. I can’t help but think that the relationship between Daniel-San and Mr. Miyagi is very similar to our own relationship and walk with God.

We don’t always understand what God is doing. Most of the time we’re questioning what everything means. In my own life I have had to ask God to help me see what He sees because I just simply don’t understand.

In the movie, as Daniel is venting to Mr. Miyagi about feeling used, he tells Mr. Miyago that he’s in pain for all the work he’s had to do for him. He feels that he has wasted all his time when he could’ve actually been learning karate. Mr. Miyagi’s response: “Not everything is as seems.”

Mr. Miyagi then asks him to show him "sand the floor," “wax-on, wax-off,” “paint the fence,” and all the other chores Daniel was responsisble for. Mr. Miyagi goes on to show the very confused and frustrated Daniel how one thing related to the other. Daniel was then able to see how all the meaningless tasks he had done actually related to karate. His eyes were opened up to the realization that he was learning, but not in the way that he expected.

Brother Lawrence, author of the popular book, “Practicing the Presence of God,” learned life’s lessons while washing dishes in a kitchen. Jesus taught his disciples lessons and principles through fishing and even reached a Samaritan woman by relating to her through thirst. Why does God use the ordinary to reach us? Because he wants to relate to us, he wants to speak our language.

So, the next time you're confused about your life and what God may or may not be doing, why not ask Him to help you see what He sees? You may even get a revelation like Daniel did.

The Karate Kid starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita

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