Our beloved 7 year old son, Reuben, and I were honored to receive the Shaolin Do Kung Fu Black Belt, after testing in front of the Grandmaster Sin Kwang Thé at the North Austin Shaolin Do Kung Fu school on August 22, 2013. This makes Reuben to be the youngest person (till date) to receive the Black Belt in not just Austin, but in all of the United States of America and my beloved wife, Sangeetha, his brother Ittai and I could not be any less proud.
Reuben started training since he was three and a half years old and it has been nearly four years since we began this journey together. Once in his school, when Reuben was asked, What is your dream? Reuben wrote, “I have a dream. My dream is to be a red belt in Kung Fu (like the Grandmaster). I can help my dream come true by: praying and hard work.” To become a red belt would take atleast a little over forty years; pretty much his lifetime.
At the end of the Black Belt test, the Grandmaster encouraged the newly granted Black Belts by saying that “Don’t think of the Black Belt as an end point but consider it to be only the beginning of a journey.” and he is absolutely right. While we are so honored at this blessing and honor that God has made possible for Reuben and I, we realize that it is only the beginning.
This not only applies to us in our physical art form, but also in our spiritual art form. Becoming a Christian is only the beginning; continuing to being a Christian takes a lifetime; actually until we see Jesus face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12) and are like him (1 John 3:2). We must grow daily in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18), after the knowledge of Salvation (Hebrews 10:26), always prepared with weapons of warfare (Ephesians 6:10-18), so that at the end of life’s journey, we could be given the highest accolade, one could receive, which is”Well done my good and faithful servant – You have fought a good fight and kept the faith (like a Black Belt would). (Matthew 25:21; 2 Timothy 4:7)”. This would be given by Jesus, who wore a Red Belt of his own blood, as a crown of thorns was placed to pierce him on his head (John 19:2).
Points to ponder:
How are you in your journey to be a Black Belt Christian?
2 Peter 3:12-18 (KJV)
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
1 John 3:2 (KJV)
1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.