Monday, September 9, 2013

Wax On, Wax Off

I was watching the 1984 version of The Karate Kid and a spiritual analogy came to mind. Daniel wants to learn to defend himself so he asks Mr. Miyagi to train him in karate. Miyagi finally agrees as long as Daniel agrees not to ask any questions. "No questions," says Miyagi.
"Wax on, wax off" Karate Kid 1984.

Daniel shows up ready for his first karate training session and ends up washing cars instead. This is where that famous "wax on, wax off" scene happens. Daniel is a bit confused, but follows orders. He's trusting Miyagi will get around to the real karate training eventually.

The next day Daniel shows up and is shown how to "sand the floor" which he proceeds to spend the entire day doing. This process continues day after day with similar chores of "paint the fence" and "paint the house." By this time, a very patient Daniel is finally getting worn out, frustrated, feeling used, and is ready to go back on his promise of "no questions."

Daniel gets angry with Miyagi and is ready to give up and walk away. Miyagi says, "Ah, not everything is as seems."

What Daniel did not understand was that all the chores he was doing which seemed like busywork, was really his training. During this time Daniel was learning to trust his teacher, he was learning to focus, he was building up strength and skills in his arms. Miyagi's method of teaching was vastly different than the training the other boys at the dojo were getting.

Have you picked up on the spiritual analogy already? Sometimes we ask God for something--a ministry, a new job, a family--and then we find ourselves a million miles away from what we had in mind. Now, we'll assume that whatever we've prayed for is something good, legal, moral, and fits in God's overall plan for our lives. If that's true then it's entirely possible that God will give us that ministry, job, family at some point in the future. However, while we may think we're ready to tackle that dream now, God knows better so He puts us through some training.

In this training time God asks us to trust Him implicitly. We must rest our faith in whatever God is asking us to do right now. And, unlike Miyagi, God doesn't mind if we ask questions (and He's patient when we do!).

We may be waxing cars or painting fences and somehow all of that just may translate into an answer to our prayers later. Ah, not everything is as seems.

Hmmm. Just something to ponder next time we feel as if what we're doing now doesn't really matter.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. ~ 2 Corinthians 5.7

1 comment:

Kristi said...

Kristi, this is a great insight. Everything is not as it seems. God works in mysterious ways, always giving us opportunity to trust Him. :+)