Wax On, Wax Off

I don’t know if you’ve seen any of the Karate Kid movies from the 80s, but they are inspiring movies on how to stand up for yourself and to be tough. We all know that life has its challenges and God is interested in making us stronger and elastic. In order to make it in this world, there will be times where strength and elasticity are crucial.

In the film, a new kid, Daniel and his mother moves from New Jersey to California. In his new school, Daniel was bullied by a group of boys who often beat him up. The man who manages Daniel and his mother’s apartment building, Mr. Miyagi, a Japanese man decides to teach Daniel karate. On his first day of karate lessons, Mr. Miyagi has Daniel to wash and wax all his cars. He tells Daniel ‘wax on, wax off.’ To apply the wax to the car with a cloth in his right hand, clockwise, and to shine with a cloth in his left hand, counterclockwise. Mr. Miyagi also has Daniel to do the same in sanding his wooden deck- sanding with clockwise and counterclockwise motions. Then, he has Daniel to paint the wooden fence surrounding his home, in an ‘up and down’ motion in a specific way.

After weeks of doing ‘wax on, wax off’ and ‘up and down,’ Daniel gets annoyed. Because what does shining cars, sanding a deck or painting a fence have to do with karate, he yells at Mr. Miyagi. Then, Mr. Miyagi asks Daniel to stand upright and ‘wax on, wax off,’ with his hands in the air, and to motion painting the fence ‘up and down’ with his hands in the air. It’s then that Mr. Miyagi, while Daniel is doing this comes in with some karate moves and Daniel is able to defend himself- and Daniel was amazed.

All the while Daniel didn’t realize through ‘wax on, wax off; and ‘up and down’ that he was learning foundational and key moves that he would use to defend himself against his bullies.

Two weeks ago, I wrote on how God left 5 nations in the Promise Land when the Israelites entered. God allowed the 5 rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites to stay. And one reason for that was to fight.

Sometimes in life God has us in seasons of ‘wax on, wax off’ or ‘up and down.’ And, we’re wondering, why do I have this puny job, or why do I have to do this or that. That puny job or this or that are often the foundational and key moves that we will draw upon later in life to do even bigger things. We won’t be able to handle the bigger things until we learn, accept and embrace ‘wax on, wax off’ and ‘up and down.’

Daniel went on with his training with Mr. Miyagi and won a karate championship, beating in a professional environment those same boys that bullied him.

So, learn, accept and embrace the ‘wax on, wax off’ and ‘up and down’ seasons of life. All of that will come back into play later in life and you will see how God uses past seasons for His glory, for the good of others, and for your good too in future seasons in life.

Happy Friday!