Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Slapping Water

When I was taking my Inductive Bible Study class, I once heard a pastor tell a story of a man who wanted to be a Shaolin fighting monk.

He went to Tibet to train with the masters of Shaolin. The first thing they did was to give him a bucket filled to the brim with water and told him, "Slap the water with your right and left hands, one hand at a time, alternating the right and the left, until the bucket is emptied of water. And when the bucket is empty, fill it again with water up to the brim and do the same thing. You are to do this all day long." And so he did. The next day, they gave him the same task.

A week had passed. Same task.

A month had passed. Same task.

A year had passed. Same task. Within this time frame he was able to ask, "When do I get to learn to do the awesome moves? The flying and all?" The Shaolin master patiently said, just keep slapping water.

Two years had passed. Same task. Now he can take a vacation and be with his family for a while.

Frustrated. Angry. Disappointed. He felt deceived.

As he went home, his family and friends prepared a banquet for him. They were celebrating his coming home for a visit. As they were feasting, somebody asked him, "So, how was your Shaolin training?" When he heard that, he could no longer hold his anger and frustration. He got up and said angrily, "I learned nothing! All they did was make me slap water everyday. That's all I did!" He was still boiling with anger and in his rage he slapped the food table where all his family and friends were seated -- a table about a foot thick. Suddenly, the table split in two. Someone exclaimed, "The stories are true!"

And that's how it is with us sometimes. God gives us daily tasks. We get tired of them. Bored with morning Bible devotions? Bored with school? With work? Don't be discouraged. You'll be breaking tables soon with one hand. =)

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