I have to admit that I love the training sequences in such movies as Zoro, the Karate Kid, and even The Princess Diaries (I and II).
I love the way Alejandro Marrieta (Zoro) comes stumbling in, thinking he is going to be an immediate expert swordsman and a wonderful Zoro, only to be told he wonít be touching a sword for a long time.
I love the way understanding dawns as Daniel Larusso (old Karate Kid) and Dre Parker (new Karate Kid) come to realize that the incredibly dull tasks of waxing a car and hanging up a jacket have actually been instrumental in their training.
I love how Princess Mia first gives up her invisibility, then gives up a promising high school social life, does the wrong things, embarrasses herself so often, and still manages to pull off becoming a princess.
I love the way the Disciples of Jesus left their fortune-filled fishing nets and went from being hot-tempered fraidy-cats, or too-smart-for-their-own-good fraidy-cats, to being powerful witnesses of Jesus Christ.
I love the way each of those ordinary people said good-bye to their old life, and had no idea what they were getting themselves into with their new one. They only knew they wanted to be like their teacher. Each apprentice came into their training with an idea of what that training should look like and what it would consist of. Each of their ideas were completely wrong. They completed menial tasks. They made mistakes Ė plenty of them. They grew discouraged.
Best of all, however, they ultimately succeeded when and where it mattered. Their lives counted on a level that would never have been possible had they not walked away from the old and into the new.
It is impossible to enter into any kind of intense training while still maintaining the same life you previously lived. To be in training is to be singularly focused on one goal. There isnít time for much else. Many of us come into the Christian life with our own idea of how God should work in our lives. Very often, however, God seems to have his own ideas and plans. Discipleship, like so many other things in life, is a process and takes time. We train and fail, and train and fail, and train and fail, and just when we think weíre going to fail again, the work that He has slowly been doing in our lives comes to fruition, and we discover a strength we didnít know we possessed. Soon, we discover that the new blessings He has given us far surpass the value of what we have left behind.
What is one area of your life in which you are seeking to become more like Christ?
In what ways would you like to be able to serve God better?
What might you be asked to give up?
Spend some time reading through one of the Gospels Ė Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, (or Acts).
Make a list of the very human characteristics of the disciples, and the mistakes they made.
How did God change their life?
What has God already done in your life?
What have been some bad moments?
Some boring/normal moments?
Some great moments?