The classic 1980’s movie, the Karate Kid, is/was a great movie.
The plot puts a young teenage guy in a tough situation. Daniel
has just moved from New Jersey to California because of his
mother’s job. He is a skinny, dark-haired Italian who does not fit
in with the blonde Californian crowd. Did I mention he was 15
years old? He gets bullied. He seeks help from a kindly older
Asian man who agrees to teach him karate. Daniel shows up for
his first lesson and has to wash and wax a number of old cars in
the man’s backyard. Another day, he has to paint the fence and,
yet on another day, he has to sand a very large deck and patio
area. Daniel gets frustrated because he thinks all this work he is
doing is just free labor and that he is not learning a thing. I can
understand his thinking. All this time and work and he has not
learned a stance or how to block a punch or throw a punch or
attempt a roundhouse kick. I think I would be frustrated also or
at least confused.
Joshua has just been given the position of leader. Moses had died and now Joshua will be the one to lead God’s people into the Promised Land. Joshua had sent spies into the land to look over the first obstacle, Jericho. It was a city with fortified walls. People actually had their homes in the walls. Aaron may have been wondering, and the people too, how they would attack this fortress and then God gives a plan. “Joshua, for your first real showing as leader of the people, you will go to Jericho. You will gather the people as if marching off to battle. You will march to Jericho and march around the city once. You will have your trumpet blowing the whole time. Then you will return to camp. You will repeat this for six days. On the seventh day, you will march around the city seven times and the trumpets will let out a final blast and you will tell the people to shout. Then the walls will fall down.” What? Why do we need to do all the marching? Why can’t we just walk over there and shout and take the city. What is all this other stuff about? Did the marching and trumpet noise weaken the foundation so that the walls fell? Was it an exercise in faith? Sometimes in life we may wonder why we are going through certain experiences or jumping through a bunch of hoops; in the end could it be a question of whether or not we will just have faith and follow.