Everyone once in a while, you may find yourself in the presence of great men. Whether they are merchants, cowboys or warriors - you will know that they are great men because of the way they carry themselves. Usually you will note authority, humility, integrity, character and you will find yourself walking away from them being a better person for the moments that you spent with them. This is a person that I want to be. I want to be a great husband, a really good father (a legacy dad) and someone who when others talk to me that they walk away from our conversation feeling comforted, encouraged and urged to live a life worthy of God. For the past three years, I have been taking Kempo Jui Jitsui with my son. I love martial arts for so many reasons. This form of martial arts is literally warrior combat. They do not use this style or allow it in UFC fighting because the opponent would not fare well. I love this art because, for me, it truly relates to me in the sense of discipleship. There is so much correlation to it that it makes me giddy just thinking about it and our men's ministry called Men of Faith.
First of all, the term (title) Sensei, literally means, "one who has gone before." Each of us are on our own journey. Each of us have purpose and a reason to be than rather to seem (Lance will love this sentence). For those of us that are in Christ, each of us have been given gifts and are called to be stewards of what God has given us. If you are fortunate to have spent time (or are currently spending time) with these great men, then you will reflect on what they have shown you. Where they are guiding you and what their hope for you is in your walk.
The comparison to martial arts to being a disciple of God, for me, have so many similarities that it is amazing to me in my walk as a disciple and my path to be a black belt in martial arts. That is, a lot of intentional training are required to achieve these aspirations. Training (practicing martial arts, learning the flow and motion of the body and the range of motion in movement). For a disciple (reading God's word, being in the word, committed to the word and to prayer and to walking with other men). The key to both of these aspirations of mine is that I am not doing this alone. God never intended that for us to be alone. When His Son, Jesus Christ, sent the 70 disciples out to share the Gospel, He sent them two by two.
When you practice a sport, and art, a walk with God, there is always a cost = TIME. There is always a continue flow of motion and body movement - you have to be committed to the practice and training and commitment of time, talent and treasure to be who God wants you to be. We are called to be stewards of what He has given you and me.
We can try to make martial arts about "me" or "you". We can try to make discipleship about "me" or "you" or you can watch these sensei' in our lives (Great men) who have gone before us and who are there not to detract us from learning and growing, but to guide us in the path that we should take.
When we commit our ways to these paths, then you can be certain that things will change. A life that is worth living will be clear and evident in your path. There will be purpose because you will learn that God calls men to do His will. You can choose to be a part of it or you can choose to be left alone.
Don't be fooled into thinking that life and training gives you a shortcut (a way to cheat). After running three marathons, several half marathons and a Super Spartan Race along with training to be an effective martial artist and a legacy dad (a man of God), I can tell you that there is no easy way. There is a cost - a time commitment and a willingness to go deeper in training and in relationship and in friendship.
We have to let go of old ways, stubborn ways. We have to destroy pride and lust for what we want and learn from these men who have gone before and are willing to show us the way, the truth and the life found in Jesus Christ.
Each and every one of us will have a time and a place that our lives will come to an end. Whether through natural causes, or through war, or through other events that take us to meet our Creator, there will be two questions that we have to answer at this Judgement Seat of Christ:
- Do we know God's Son, Jesus Christ, as Savior
- What did we do with the things that God gave us to steward
If you do not know the answer without certainty for question one (please email Lance or myself now - or ask a pastor at a bible believing/preaching church) and if you are not sure what a steward is or what God has planned and calls for each one of us to do with our time, talent and treasure, then seek the answers through this blog and the Word of God. I am not going to give them to you right now, remember there is a cost.
Esse Quam Videri - to be rather than to seem!