Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
It's a part of raising boys, I suppose.
We tend to view a lot of documentaries that have to do with enormous fish, trucks driving on ice, dirty jobs and Big Foot sightings.
And anything cool with stop-motion photography.
The kind of video presentation in which the action is slowed waaayyyyyy down and every action is captured in full.
And when you combine martial arts with stop-motion photography, you have a hands down winner for sure with the Octa-boys.
A recent documentary showed a few different martial artists in action, each of them using their training to overcome certain obstacles. One man was catching flies barehanded and managed to capture seven in just a few seconds, using extreme focus and eye-hand coordination. A woman was able to hit a small target with her hand, anticipating the next move. Yet another man used his hand like a claw to wreak havoc on a mannequin. And in slow motion, my guys found it all the more impressive.
Then there was the man who displayed his agility and balance.
He was perched on a tiny platform, about the size of a dessert plate, eight feet in the air. This little platform was not rock sturdy; it shook a bit and shifted a bit as he sought balance. Just seeing him alight there was pretty impressive in and of itself.
But then things went up a notch.
Once he found his center of balance, another martial artist took to hurling ninja throwing stars at him, a nasty bit of a razor frisbee, if you will.
The man on the platform stayed alert, watching for the weapon, dodging quickly, moving subtly.
He avoided being hit by the bevy of missiles.
Researches had placed electrodes in his shoes to monitor how he was keeping his balance in such a precarious position. They also analyzed the stop-action film to watch how he worked with his body to stay on his little dessert plate platform and at the same time avoid the throwing ninja stars.
What they found was this: the man stayed relaxed.
Had he tensed up, tightened his muscles, been overly eager in his movements to avoid the ninja stars, he would have tumbled. But to maintain his balance and to avoid injury from those steely darts, he stayed focused and aware and calm, steady yet flexible.
When we face trials and challenges perched atop the dessert plates of this life, we can allow tension and stress and worry to begin to shake our foundation. We see an incoming challenge whirling through the air and we tense up and fret.
And then find that we are allowing it to shake our faith.
But if we can rest again in that assurance that is our center, that our God is in control, that He fights for us, that we have provision and protection and power in Him, then we can stay alert and balanced, ready and steady, knowing the enemy will hurl spiritual ninja stars our way but also knowing through our trust in the Lord that we can stand.
And as we do so, we have a cloud of witnesses cheering us in, watching frame by frame.