What karate taught me about God

When I was 32 years old, I took karate. There I was, five foot eight inches tall, barefoot, wearing a white ghee, and surrounded by eight- and nine-year-old children.

It was a sight to behold, I am sure.

The night I was testing for my purple belt, Sensei Carl announced we would be breaking boards. We had to tell him ahead of time if were were going to break ours with a high punch or high kick.

I selected high punch.

The night arrived. We entered the studio and lined up single file around the mat. The first person to take a turn was a female black belt who had selected breaking her board with a high kick.

She kicked and kicked. I thought to myself, “If a black belt can’t break a board with a kick, then this purple belt won’t break it with a punch.” Suddenly, Sensei Carl yelled, “Stop kicking at the board. Kick at a point behind the board!”

I knew exactly what he meant.

When it was my turn, I didn’t look at the board. I looked at an imaginary point behind the board and aimed at that instead.

I broke my board on the first try.

That is what living by faith in God means. We are never aiming at this life. We are always leveraging this life for the eternal life beyond it. Put another way, living by faith means not aiming at the life we can see and aiming at the life we can’t see instead.

Every decision about my life is hopefully aimed at the next.

I am never aiming at the life I can see. I am always aiming toward a heavenly point behind it. Financial decisions, church involvement, friendships, my neighborhood, my clothing choices, my job, my children, my entertainment, and my responses to difficulties.

Every relationship in my life is also hopefully aimed at the next.

I aim to see every person on the globe first as an image bearer of God, created for His good purpose (Ephesians 2:10). I aim to see every person in the context of God’s larger story. He is chasing them with His love until they come to know them.

How can I be a part of that introduction to Jesus?

Once a person knows Christ, God is transforming them more into the likeness of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

How can I be a part of that person growing in their faith?

In addition, Christians collectively around the globe are to be operating together as the light of the world.

How can I be a part of the global Body of Christ, working together with everyone to display Christ in every part of the world?

We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.  (1 Chronicles 29:15)

Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. (Psalm 144:4)

“O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! (Psalm 39:4)

This earth is not my home.

I am just passing through. I blogged about that a few weeks ago HERE but this week I had some additional crystallized thoughts.

  • The only meaning this life has is its connection to the next one. This life is short. It’s gone in a blink. All that occurs here is momentary. The only way to make this life count for more than a blink is to link it with God’s eternal story.
  • “I am a citizen of heaven currently visiting America.” If I really understand that I am a citizen of heaven, this would be my answer if someone asked me what country I was from. Of course, I can’t actually say this, but I can think it and live it, because it’s true.

Let that sink in.

Picture Explanation: I have lived in Georgia for 25 years, but my roots are in Pennsylvania. I always say I am still a rural Pennsylvania girl with a little Georgia tossed in. This is the countryside where I grew up and these are my people.

© 2018 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

2 Responses

  1. Thank you, Laurie, for the reminder to aim behind the board. We can never be reminded enough that our life is eternal and that our hope is eternity. I loved the photos!

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I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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