Thursday, January 20, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

You have heard it a million times,"Practice makes perfect". Realistically absolute perfection of something is close to impossible to achieve but through persistent practice we can come pretty close. What makes one more advanced than the other in jiu-jitsu? Persistent practice. Through the trials of persistent practice one begins to excel in jiu-jitsu. We all begin as white belts and will always remain white belts unless we practice persistently. You will never go to a school where the instructor is giving out black belts to people who don't practice persistently. Even so, the Black Belt status does not mean you have perfected the art of jiu-jitsu. There is an endless knowledge of jiu-jitsu and therefore it is impossible to perfect. To perfect something you must do everything perfectly always.

Everything perfectly always? These are 3 key words. First, in order to perfect jiu-jitsu you must know everything there is to possibly know about jiu-jitsu. Pretty much an impossible feat within itself. Second, you must be able to apply and execute that knowledge flawlessly. Lastly, not only must you be able to know and execute all this knowledge flawlessly, but you must be able to do it always and forever. Are we really ever going to perfect this art of jiu-jitsu? Not in the true sense of the meaning. We are never going to bring our jiu-jitsu training to a perfect completion. There will not be a day when you can say, "Well, I am done. There is nothing left for me to learn. I have perfected it all.". That day won't come. However, there is a process of perfection. Through persistent practice you are striving for perfection in all things. There is a big difference between those who desire to get a black belt and practice persistently to get it and those who simply say they would love to have a black belt one day. The difference is that one will receive the black belt and the other won't. One has been given a desire that over rules the laziness and circumstances that prevent them from practicing persistently.

Take a minute to imagine this. Knowing that you could never perfect jiu-jitsu yourself imagine that you had an instructor who truly has "perfected" all there is to know about jiu-jitsu. Whenever you compete you could have this perfect coach in your corner telling you what to do. Just because your coach is perfect does not mean that you will win every match but he will be able to evaluate your match and use it to teach you how to gain from every situation. You would have access to his perfect knowledge and experience to gain from. He always knows the right thing to do. If you continue to practice persistently in and with his perfection, you will begin to think, move and act like this perfect instructor. The more you become obedient to his perfect coaching, he would be able to help you overcome all your opponents just as he did his. You will never be able to overcome him because he is always perfect. You can not overcome him because if you did he would no longer be perfect and therefore never was. He is so perfect you don't even want to try to overcome him because you know that all you are and all that you strive to be comes from him. As long as he is with you and you honor him with an obedience to his instruction and coaching you are, in a sense, perfect as he is all though your perfection can only exist in him. Without his guidance and wisdom you would always fall prey to those who humbly submit to his perfection.

So it is with God's beloved. Through the perfection of Jesus Christ we can be declared righteous. Not on our own merit. For we are far from righteous without the works of Christ. But in him and through obedience to his Holy Spirit we can strive to and excel in having victory over our wickedness. There is no room to boast because we now that without him we are nothing. We glory not in our own but in His righteousness. We strive to let people know that if anything good came from me it is only because the Lord gave me the grace to do it. To think we can do anything good without the grace of God is our greatest sin. God is good and all that is good comes from God. To practice righteousness is extremely difficult in that it is hard to make the sacrifices that righteousness asks us to make. It is hard to let go of yourself and become obedient to the interests and potential of others. Furthermore, a persistent practice of righteousness is going to cause many trails in your life as does the persistent practice of jiu-jitsu in training. To excel you must suffer. The persistent practitioner perseveres through the suffering and comes out better on the other side. All though practice will never truly make you perfect it is the desire to honor the Lord through persistent practice that perfects you.

"Let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous." 1 John 3:7

Just as the persistent jiu-jitsu practitioner who honers his instructor will one day receive his black belt, the one who honors the Lord with his persistent practice of righteousness will inherit eternal life in the kingdom of God. To those who don't practice and practice persistently, there is no reward.

1 comment:

Margie Stemple said...

Ok, have a wonderful gift as teacher/instructor at your studio and in the ring...yet, your greater gift may be the insight God gives you in writing these articles.