"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
- Romans 8:28 (ESV)
"Don't forget to breathe. Very important."
There is an iconic scene in the movie, Karate Kid. Do you remember it?
The enigmatic and eccentric Mr. Miyogi requires his young student, Daniel, to complete a series of boring, mundane household chores. Daniel wants training in karate, but all he receives are vague promises of training and a list of chores to complete. At first, Daniel obliges. He washes and waxes cars. He paints a fence and house. He sands decks. He performs these tasks just as he's been instructed. You remember it, right? Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off.
Eventually, Daniel grows frustrated as the chores keep coming but the karate training never does. Finally, he loses his temper and lashes out at Mr. Myagi. He complains that, when he should be learning karate, he's instead been doing household chores. In a fit, he complains:
"Four days I've been busting my $%%. I haven't learned a thing!"
It's then and only then that we realize Mr. Myagi's been training Daniel all along. The repetitious and mundane tasks of painting fences and houses, sanding decks, and washing and waxing cars were, in fact, embedding defensive motions deep within Daniel's "muscle memory." Mr. Miyagi demonstrates how naturally, how fluidly the mundane chores reinforced the blocking necessary for Daniel to defend himself. Unbeknownst to Daniel, ordinary and mundane tasks were moving him toward mastery.
It's at this point in the movie that Mr. Miyagi declares a powerful truth in somewhat broken English: "Not everything is as seems."
Child of God: you won't always know how God is orchestrating the mundane day-to-day tasks of everyday life into your glorious future as his daughter or son, but he is. God is a little like Mr. Miyagi. Even when you're painting life's fences, you're not just painting fences. He's always up to something, and it's for your good.
You're loved. Don't forget it.
If you'd like to subscribe to All Things New, a workweek devotional, click here! You can unsubscribe at any time.