Why not you?

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I heard this very cool story once that changed how I look at things.

The story is told of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident. The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move.

“Sensei,” the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?”

“This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the sensei replied.

Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.

Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament.

Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches.

The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match.

Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals. This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced.

For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened.

“No,” the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.”

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Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.

On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.

“Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”

“You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered. First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grip your left arm.”

The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.

This story reminds me of what Paul wrote to the congregation of Corinth who were fighting and bickering among each other about personal standing, importance of certain spiritual gifts above others etc.

He wrote to them saying the church is like a body.  Each part is important.  Each part has a role to play.  In fact, he said, those parts that we deem weakest, least important and insignificant are in fact the most necessary.

And this is true of us as individuals also.

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So many times I find myself comparing “me” to others– my gifts, personality, opportunities, situation, talents etc., and deem them more important and significant.  But that is a mistake. Comparing myself to someone else is like comparing one artwork to another. They might be different, appeal to different people, be easy or difficult to look at; BUT at the end of the day they are both still pieces of art. Like me and you.

Someone once asked a wise man: “how do I know when I’ve finished serving my purpose?”

The guru answered: “Are you still breathing … then you’re not done!” 

You might consider yourself to have weaknesses. Heck, you may perceive the whole of YOU to be a weakness.

But I believe when God looks at us, all He sees is opportunity. Opportunity to turn our so called weaknesses into strengths and gifts to this world, and by doing so making this world a better place bit by bit.

You might only have “one arm” but trained by the right Master or combined with other “parts” you can become “unstoppable.”

NEVER underestimate your worth and ability to influence others and becoming a huge gift from God to others.

Yes, it might take some patience …

Perhaps even heaps of practice …

Yes, it might involve frustration …

But given enough time, faith, practice, hard effort and hope, who knows what’s possible.

Up to this point you might have been looking at YOURSELF asking, why me,” while God is asking: “why NOT you?!”

May light and peace fill your life.