What the Karate Kid taught me about Life

I was a child of the 1980’s. I’ll bet you’re already getting flashbacks of leg warmers, Cabbage Patch Kids and big hair! It was quite a decade.  I grew up on movies like Back to the Future, Top Gun, Goonies and my personal favorite…The Karate Kid!

If you’ve never seen The Karate Kid, the plot follows a teenage kid named Daniel who wants to learn karate so he can defend himself from local bullies. He meets a mysterious older man named Mr. Miyagi who turns out to be a karate master. They form a friendship and Daniel eventually begs Mr. Miyagi to teach him karate. Mr. Miyagi agrees on the condition that Daniel follows instructions no matter what. No questions asked.

Daniel agrees and shows up for his first day of lessons but instead of learning karate, Mr. Miyagi tells him to wax all of his cars. Daniel has to do it with a very specific circular motion to put the wax on with one hand and take it off with the other. By the end of the day, Daniel’s arms and shoulders are hurting badly, but he doesn’t complain. He shows up the next morning certain that this would be the day he finally learns karate, but instead, Mr. Miyagi tells him to pain the fence. He has to paint it with a specific motion of moving his hands up and down in a continuous motion so there aren’t any streaks in the paint.

After several days of forced labor, Daniel finally snaps. He confronts his teacher and accuses him of making him a slave instead of teaching him karate. Mr. Miyagi says, “I’ve been teaching you karate. Show me how to wax the car. Show me how to paint the fence.” 

As Daniel begins to mimic the motions from those tasks, Mr. Miyagi begins to throw a flurry of punches and kicks at Daniel which (to Daniel’s amazement) he is able to block. Daniel’s body had been learning karate even though Daniel didn’t realize it. Mr. Miyagi bows to his student and in that moment, something clicked in my head. For me, that wasn’t just a moment of Hollywood magic; it was a moment where some truth’s of God’s World came to life in real and practical ways.

Here’s the point…

So many times in my life, I feel that I’m begging God to reveal His Will, but it seems like all I’m doing is toiling away at some mundane, repetitive task just waiting for my life to begin. What I’ve come to realize is that God doesn’t waste anything. He’s always teaching us; always shaping us. He’s preparing us to respond instinctively to the battles of life with a level of faith and skill we didn’t know we possessed. You’re on your way to becoming a “Spiritual Black Belt” and your Heavenly Father is with you every step of the way!

Maybe you’re in a place right now where you feel that your prayers aren’t being answered and that God has forgotten about you, but nothing could be farther from the Truth. The Truth is, God loves you, He’s right there with you and He is using every difficult circumstance in your life for your good and His glory. If you’re going through something difficult or frustrating, I believe it’s because God is preparing you for something great! Keep trusting Him no matter what.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and don’t rely on your own understanding. In all your ways, submit to Him and He will guide your steps.” Proverbs 3:5-6


3 thoughts on “What the Karate Kid taught me about Life

  1. Tina Owen says:

    Thanks. This is just what I needed to hear today. I’m very frustrated w/ my health issues, wanting to be stronger & healthier. It seems like I hit a speed bump, WEEKLY! I know Jesus is working. He’s been so close & comforting. It’s just still very frustrating(; Thanks again for letting Jesus use you as an instrument(:

  2. Tebogo says:

    I am touched about by word of encouragement Wow I didn’t look it that way that in all the difficulties that I am going through God is training me I am really humbled by God Grace upton my live may you continue to touch ourlives and make us see things in God’s way. God Bless

  3. Jackie says:

    Needed to hear this today. Have been going through A LOT the last year. My father had a massive stroke and is confined to his bed, my mom is taking care of him. Had thyroid surgery and found out I had a rare form of cancer, now have to have Catscans and ultrasounds every few months. Lost a baby to miscarriage. We have been trying for another baby, and can’t get pregnant. Needed to be reminded that God is STILL using all things to work together for HIS good.

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