I recently restarted my training in Brazilian Jujitsu as exercise and something to take my mind off pastoral work. The side benefit is that I get to interact with more non-Christian friends.
Being a pastor at training is still a pastor in his mind (always looking for the next best sermon illustration), so I can’t help but connect my physical training to my personal devotion and meditation thoughts. Especially some of the refreshed ideas that surfaced since my personal spiritual retreat.
During my BJJ training, two key ideas were constantly reinforced – first, the triangle is the strongest foundation, and second, we do not aim to submit others but allows it to happen. Every time I finish a training session, it would strike me that the two concepts are just as applicable to the Christian formation journey. The triangle in BJJ refers to having three touchpoints, and those three touchpoints form the strongest leverage. I can’t help but link it to the Trinity’s work in a Christian’s life; I can clearly see it working in mine. First, over the past few months, I came to the realization that my fundamental work is simply to remind myself constantly that God is my Father, and the key to growing in my relationship with him is to focus on the relational aspect of the connection. To interact with him relationally and not transactionally has transformed my walk with him. I can see how he is fathering me in my daily life, relating to me in love. The second is Jesus and his life and ministry as the model, example, and encouragement. It is easy to neglect the continual role of Jesus in our life by leaving him on the cross. “He is alive today” is my personal mantra to remind myself of his ongoing work in me. By spending time to meditate on his life and ministry daily, I have grown in my love for him more than ever before. Finally, this has to do with the third corner of the triangle and the idea of submission. One of the key formational ideas that I have submitted to is letting go of control and focusing on hanging around with the Holy Spirit. My fundamental goal is to stay in fellowship with him and let him do what he needs to do in his time and in his way. My part is simply to record what he has done and praise him for it. I simply submit myself to him and let him do the work of forming me.