Time in Training, by Guest Contributor Charity.
There isn’t a little girl alive who doesn’t like to see, every once in awhile, the Damsel in Distress fight her own battles. Our world is not a safe place to live in and somewhere along the way we figure out that we’re going to have to face it on our own terms.
With this knowledge, armed with printouts on everything about the school of martial arts that I intended to visit, I signed up and audited one of the classes to find out what was involved. It turned out to be the junior division. The instructor has a lot more patience with children than I ever could. He was patiently seated on the sidelines, attempting to direct and guide a rambunctious group of five year olds. I was told that at that age, basically what they teach the kids is to take instruction. They’re not used to listening to authority beyond that of their parents, but in order to advance and succeed, they have to do what the teacher tells them to. It’s a process of learning discipline.
Humans have a natural problem with authority. We don’t like being told what to do because it limits our notion of freedom. We are not born listeners.We never want to take orders. It takes many years to develop self-respect enough to let someone else guide your steps. Just like that instructor with the kids, God is infinitely patient with us, training us just to heed the sound of His voice.
He doesn’t demand anything dramatic at first, just encourages us to listen to Him. These are the little, seemingly insignificant things that we call “God Nudgings.” That sudden feeling you have as though someone needs a hand, or that you should stop and talk with a friend on your way home. Learning to consult Him in the choices that you make. Like the wee ones in the class, we first have to learn to listen, and then obey. It happens over time in a close relationship with your trainer.
There comes a time when you move beyond the simple kicking stage and He asks you to do more difficult moves: to give up things, to move beyond relationships, to serve Him at every cost. The longer you listen to your trainer, the more you heed the sound of His voice, the more you will trust that His instruction is best. God knows where you are headed, and what you will need when you get there. Just like a fighter learns discipline, then to control their emotions, and how to combat when they’re attacked, a Christian must learn to grow silent and be still, to heed His voice, to trust Him in all things even when the road gets rough.
It seems ludicrous to think of all this standing at the counter clutching a bag with a silly white outfit in it, signing a bunch of release wavers so I cannot sue when my nose is accidentally broken, but it is in retrospect when things come into focus. Every time I put on that white suit and listen to my instructor, I will be reminded that I need time alone with God. I can learn to defend myself physically, but the darkest assaults are on the mind, and we need quality time with the Master Instructor, in prayer and scripture, to combat them. Maybe a good time would be while I’m nursing the numerous aching bones in my body after my first class…
More about Charity –
Charity is a twenty-something who spends most of her time writing — for work and for fun. She loves costume dramas, Siamese cats (and every other kind), and obsessing over history. She is currently the editor of Femnista, an online magazine aimed at young women. You can read it and more at www.charitysplace.com.
Art Credit: The Next Karate Kid