I spent a number of years in Tae Kwon Do. I liked the rigour, the challenge of the various forms and the rush of adrenaline from a good sparring match. My goal was to achieve my black belt. One day, one of our instructors overheard our discussions about the power that came with being a black belt and stopped us in our tracks, telling us that the belt was not about power, it was only a sign that we had mastered the basics and that only then could our real learning begin. Master of the basics? Someone noted how hard the training was to only achieve the basics, and he reminded us that if it was easy, everyone would wear a black belt.
Jesus teaches a similar message about the kind of life required to follow him towards eternal life. It is hard at times, but the value is life itself. Sometimes tiredness and the pace of life overtake our needed time with God. What does your basic training look like? Is it time to shake up your spiritual workout? The reward is worth more than any black belt out there.
Dear Lord, come into our lives and re-energize us for the journey with your life-giving spirit. Amen. — CS