Wax On, Wax Off

He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. Acts 17:24-25
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. Luke 16:10

Insight

Very few films define my childhood more than The Karate Kid. I was seven years old when the big screen introduced me to Daniel Russo, Mr. Miyagi, and the villainous Johnny Lawrence. Being teased and bullied as a kid myself, I couldn't wait to see the Cobra Kai crew get their comeuppance. 

I wore the VHS tape out and even took a karate course for a bit at the local YMCA.  But, just like Daniel Russo who wanted to know the tricks needed to defeat his bullies right away, I grew tired of the basics and lost heart. Rather than the normal warm-ups, I hoped to fast forward to the part where I was breaking wooden boards and smashing cinder blocks while the crowd cheered my accomplishments.  Typical, right?

As it relates to our faith, we often want to do BIG things for God. We desire to have these mountaintop faith experiences. We will show God, and others, just how valuable we are. If we're going to be humble, well sir, we are going to be the humblest person anyone has ever seen. 

Our hope to do BIG things puffs us up and makes us the center of attention rather than giving God the glory He deserves. By being so focused on our significance, we don't respond in those mundane moments God presents to us every day. We underestimate the impact these small encounters can have on not only us, but also those we touch. 

My favorite scene in the movie is when Daniel reaches his boiling point. He believes Mr. Miyagi has hoodwinked him and instead of teaching him karate, he's simply used him to get household chores done. Daniel doesn't understand what painting fences and waxing cars have to do with fighting. It is there where Mr. Miyagi shows him the method to his madness. Daniel's eyes grow super wide as his arms and legs instinctively block Miyagi's punches. Something clicks in Daniel's mind and he realizes those routine tasks were part of a greater plan.

Do you want to do BIG things for God? It starts by stewarding the small. The biggest little thing you can do is be faithful in the moment. It is here where God forms our character and shapes our heart. We experience God's faithfulness, which in turn deepens our faith.

These little moments serve as building blocks that prepare us so we are ready to take deeper steps of courage. We might not know how or why, but these little acts of obedience add up over time. So today, "wax on, wax off" and be faithful with the moments you've been given.

Reflection

  • Where can you be faithful in the moment today?
  • What drives your desire to do BIG things for God? Are these motivators pure?

Prayer

God, may I be faithful in the opportunities You present me today to serve and love others. Let me not minimize these moments, but view them as places where I can deepen my trust and dependence in You. Expose my motives for wanting to do BIG things for You and help me to address any that are rooted in pride or fear. Allow what I do to honor You and You alone. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.

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