WEEK 44: Thursday — Force of Life

W44 D4 EarhartQuote

DAY 4

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.

– Amelia Earhart


See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Deuteronomy 1:21

Tenacious: not easily stopped or pulled apart; firm or strong; continuing for a long time.

Do you remember that “Last Samurai” clip? Yes, that clip. If you forgot what clip that was, it’s this one.

Why did Nathan Algren think these people were such an extraordinary people? It’s this one observation: that from the moment they wake up, they devote themselves to the perfection of what they do.

They simply did not accept things as half-baked! What made them such excellent people? Boye Lafayette De Mente, in his interviews with several experts on samurai culture, came upon this conclusion.

“Only incredible mental, physical, intellectual and spiritual self-discipline can explain how Musashi was able to become the finest swordsman in the country while still in his teens. Although records of Musashi’s childhood are scarce, it is obvious that he was strong-willed and extraordinarily self-disciplined from an early age.

The fighting skills that Miyamoto Musashi and other samurai developed, like those of Olympic champions, did not come easily. Although Musashi claimed to have been self-trained, we can assume that he based his training on the models provided by the most accomplished samurai instructors of the day.

Their programs were based on a regime of training that began in early childhood; was engaged in for several hours a day, generally six days a week; and continued for many years.

 

The formal training began when boys reached the age of six or seven. Around the age of fifteen, at which time they became full-fledged warriors, one of the common rites of passage was beheading several men who were either condemned convicts or captured enemies—to get the “feel” of cutting off a head.

Once the samurai had mastered the different weapons in their arsenal, particularly the sword, their training was reduced to a few hours a day several times a week.—and continued until they died or retired.

It was a never ending quest for perfection. From the time they were young till the time they died, they devoted themselves to their craft. They believed that what they dedicated their life for is worth perfecting. They believed that it was something that they can die for. Isn’t that something that we as Christians wish for? Don’t we wish for that tenacity that allows us to withstand anything and face each day fully confident that what we do will one day be used by God to weave a majestic tapestry?

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