Archive for June, 2010

A martial artist, I am not.    And yet, the influence of the martial arts in our American culture today is significant.    Growing up, my youth minister often referred to the movie “Kung Fu”, starring David Carradine as a renegade man wandering the countryside making a difference with his feet and his philosophy.   “The Karate Kid” has now come full circle from my youth to be remade for the theater.

When she was a small child, I would play “Kung Fu” with my oldest daughter.    She would stand across the room before we began our “fight”, and say “I bow to you, Bruce”.     I would say “Bruce who?”    Her response was often “Bruce You”, but most often, the famed “Bruce Lee”.
I was watching one day last week, and “Dragon, the Bruce Lee Story” came on.    Interesting movie, wistful, mystical musical score throughout, and a sad story of love found and lost, and a life spent too fast or too hard chasing a dream.
Aside from being an incredible martial artist, Bruce Lee deemed himself a philosopher, and even suggested a new form of the martial arts and a philosophy he dubbed Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist).
Some of his thoughts (courtesy of Wikipedia) included the following:
“Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there.”
“Quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.”
“I always learn something, and that is: to always be yourself. And to express yourself, to have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate him.”
“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”
Despite these great ideas, his life, his passion, his fears, his failures, and his nightmares ultimately consumed him.    He was chased by demons in his own mind and from his past.
The family he loved and wanted to be there for, he ultimately stayed away from, eventually costing him his life at a young age.
What dreams are we chasing?   What sound philosophy are we espousing, but not really living up to?   What demons are we wrestling with?   Are we running away from the ones we love, the very people who are in our lives as an opportunity to remain grounded and sane?   Are we running away from God?
Romans 8:38-39:  No power on earth or heaven can separate us from God’s love. Not our sin, not any authority, not any spiritual force. God’s love is unshakable and can always be relied upon.

Another man ran from God.   His name was Jonah, and the contradictions of Bruce Lee’s life pale in comparison.    Maybe another future blog topic…

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Be still

I love early mornings, especially as I “mature” in years. Mornings are uber quiet, and have a unique “still” quality about them. Reading, thinking, walking, praying, or enjoying a good cup of coffee, the morning is unlike all other times of the day. You can feel the stillness.

No TV blaring, kids are asleep (like most of us should be more often) no traffic moving, few people out for any reason; just the strong hushed presence of the wind and the early morning song of the birds as the first rays of light creep over the horizon. I can feel the stillness, and I can sense that God is all around me, not hidden or drowned out by other noise and activity.

Psalm 46:10 came to mind this morning:
“Be still, and know that I am God;
       I will be exalted among the nations,
       I will be exalted in the earth.”

I need to know that. I need to celebrate that. I need to proclaim that.

I should be still more often.

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