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Posts Tagged ‘be still’

Perhaps I should start by saying I’m a sucker for movies. Not all movies, mind you, but I am a fan of movie-watching in general. I took my daughter out to see the new Karate Kid the other day, and left feeling unexpectedly inspired. It’s not unusual for me to leave a movie in a state of artificial emotional arousal (just to clarify I’m using the psychological definition here), but there are a couple of things that have stuck with me after all that passed.

The first was a quote by Mr. Han (the Mr. Miyagi character of the remake): “Being still and doing nothing are two very different things.”

I guess this is something I already know, but it really struck me in a fresh new way. I don’t know about you but I find stillness, at times, to be a very difficult thing. What an awesome discipline to perfect. And not only to perfect the times when we choose to stop and be still (which are certainly, actively, to be practiced), but furthermore to attain to a place when we are always still in spirit before the Lord, such that we are abiding and resting in Him, even while we’re moving. Being still and doing nothing are two very different things.

The second thing I’ve begun contemplating afresh since the movie ended is the importance of discipline. Not as in punishment, but dedication, devotion, disciplined pursuit. We are not all likely to become Kung Fu masters in a fantastically short amount of time. Nonetheless, the pursuit of excellence requires sacrifice and hard work.

Driving home from the movie a favorite passage came to mind:

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

The comparison to an athlete training for the games really puts this into perspective. I saw a documentary during the last Olympics following one of the athletes in their training. That is serious, hardcore, disciplined training. Hours and hours every day of focused, dedicated, really hard work.

How many of us pursue the Christian life in this fashion? In terms of physical exercise does our Christian walk resemble a weekly tennis match with a friend? Sporadic bouts of regular exercise alternating with long streaks of inactivity? Maybe even a regular but short morning jog? As with exercise anything is better than nothing, but how many of us are really seeking hard after God in the manner of an Olympic athlete? Run in such a way as to get the prize…strict training…I beat my body and make it my slave…How many of us are more willing to put the time in on physical exercise than in pursuit of God? And what kind of results are we expecting? Do we think a half-hearted, sporadic faith routine is going to give us rock hard abs?

Discipline is not everything. Apart from love discipline counts for nothing (1 Corinthians 13). Even so, speaking for myself anyway, I know I could use a bit more of it. I thank God that I have been saved through grace (Ephesians 2:8), but I want to run in such a way as to get the prize!

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