Mr. Miyagi and joy. Choose Joy #4 Psalm 16.11
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Not too long ago, I found myself eating a mug of instant oatmeal in a hotel dining area on a rainy morning in Oakland as the Karate Kid movie played on an unmanned television. "Wax on, Wax off..." Mr. Miyagi intentionally made the motions, as an irritated young Daniel, ready to learn karate, ready to fight, grew irritated. Unbeknownst to Daniel, the
motions he was being taught with Wax on, Wax off would develop the muscles he would need to fight. The master was teaching the student that success would only come with three things:
DESIRE, DEVOTION and DISCIPLINE.
Actually, these three have application to many things if you stop to consider them, but how about in the area of choosing joy? You bet. If we really have the desire to walk in joy, then devotion must lead us to personal discipline. And again,
>>Because what I believe about God is the most important thing about me, then I want to GET TO KNOW this GOD WHO LOVES me ~ to understand his heart, his ways, his wisdom, his plans and purposes.
My friend, think back to the time you met your sweetheart. You likely could not get enough of her! Why, you thought he hung the moon! You lingered over long telephone calls, you loved learning all about her, you found yourself thinking of him all throughout the day. Most of all, you loved being with her. That relationship simply would not have gone anywhere without getting to know him, without spending time with her.
All relationships require knowledge of one another, time spent together.
And, all relationships require communication or they languish.
Same. with. God. We cannot know the God who loves us, the one to whom we can entrust our lives, without spending time with him . . . time to get to know him for ourselves.
Enter Mr. Miyagi's three. To be certain, there is a difference between duty and devotion. When, out of my devotion, I get up early to be alone with God, I find the time absolutely life giving! It is a discipline not borne of obligation, but of desire to be in God's presence. The psalmist said it so succinctly, so beautifully:
~> You make known to me the path of life;
~> in your presence there is fullness of JOY;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16.11
Relationship with God was meant to be as it was in the very beginning in the Garden of Eden . . . face to face. Read and think about Genesis 3.8. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve literally walked and talked with God in person. Can you imagine?? It is time to get ourselves back to the Garden because in God's presence, we find joy!
While most of us may not be able to create a garden paradise in which to meet with God, we can establish a regular setting of our own to meet with him daily. We enter into his presence as we talk to him, read the Word, and give him some quiet in which to speak to us.
What often helps me experience the presence of God is music ~ music like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xzxm1jMNaB4 - "Here's My Heart" David Crowder.
In my own sacred space, I sometimes quietly sing songs like this to enter into God's presence; after all, he said he would never leave me alone, so I must be
with him! I included it at the end of the podcast - go ahead, listen, sing - even if only in your car! Wax on, wax off . . . a motion that trains your muscle to fight. In God's presence, there is fullness of joy!
DESIRE, DEVOTION and DISCIPLINE ~ Thank you, Mr. Miyagi.