Jackie Chan and Jesus Team Up to Help You Survive Christmas!

martial-arts-225397_640The symbol for December shouldn’t be Santa
it should be that flustered rabbit from Alice in Wonderland who runs around looking at his watch muttering about being late.
I want to give you a gift this December and do my best to make this blog a “guilt-free” zone.
That’s right. Guilt Free.
(I can’t make any promises about conviction – that’s the Holy Spirit’s department. But I will aim to write posts that provide you strategies to get off your own case.)
The irony for many of us is that the season we’ve chosen to celebrate the reason for our joy just seems to pile on the sense that we will never be enough.
So, allow me to let you in on a strategy I learned while I was training to earn my black belt.
Tai sabaki.
It’s a Japanese martial arts term that has to do with body shifting, combating an attack of the enemy by “not being there.”
I can’t tell you how long it took me (I was truly a remedial martial arts student!) to learn NOT to walk into a punch or kick.
That’s right.
An opponent would come at me and my instinct was to either brace myself and stand still or move forward INTO the attack. This actually helped my attacker and compounded my risk of injury!
Brilliant, right?
I want you to go to Netflix right now, rent a Jackie Chan movie, and see if Jackie EVER walks into a punch. He doesn’t even spend a lot of time blocking attacks.
When someone comes at Jackie, he moves. He isn’t there. A punch comes toward him, he shifts in the direction the punch is aimed and “poof,” the punch loses its – well – punch!
Someone throws a kick at him and he turns away in the direction the kick is aimed (okay, well, Jackie often leaps into the air and swings from chandeliers but we’re not ready for that yet!).
Too many of us stand still for or walk right into attacks from the enemy or from our own harried thoughts, exponentially increasing the damage they do.
But if we employ Tai sabaki and use the weapon Jesus used, God’s word, we suck the power right out of any oncoming punch.
Here’s how it looks:
Attack: You’ll never have enough time to do all that your family wants this season!
Walking into the attack response: If I just schedule right, and pray, and do without sleep, I might pull it off.
Tai Sabaki response: That’s probably true and I will fall short. God created all humans with limits. Thank you for reminding me not to try to be God for my family! What a gift for them to be reminded that people have limits but Jesus’ resources are limitless.
“And my God (not me) will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father (not to me) be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Philippians 4:19-20
Attack: You won’t be able to give your children the best of everything at Christmas.
Walking into the attack response: Well, I can try. I can sacrifice more, work harder, do without, and drive six states away to that discount place. I’ll come close if it kills me.
Tai Sabaki response: You know what? That makes me think about how Mary and Joseph couldn’t afford the “best” sacrifice for the purification after Jesus’ birth.
The law required that a family offer a lamb and a turtledove or, if a family was very poor, two turtledoves could be sacrificed instead. (Lev. 12:6-8) God chose for His only Son to be born into a poor family that could only offer two doves.
 I’m glad to be reminded of this. It takes the pressure off and reminds me that Jesus showed us the “best” has nothing to do with material things. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Get the idea? You try it. When an attack comes your way today, watch your response. Then, employ Tai Sabaki and search the scriptures for a verse of truth. Write it down. Carry it with you. Share it with us.
Can’t think of a dodge against a particular attack – share the attack, we’ll help you out.
Find joy this season, loved ones. It’s His gift to you.

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    The Conversation

  1. You crack me up. Thanks for the healthy reminder.

  2. I love watching Jackie Chan! He makes fighting look like dancing 🙂 And how right you are to make the comparison between that and how we should react to the stress of this season. Thanks for sharing, Lori!

  3. I’m dodging!

    This is great.

  4. krex_1 says:

    love this video, esp the last half. Thanks for the reminder to dodge the enemy rather than trying to take him head on!

  5. Daryl G says:

    Just curious, what style of martial arts did you study? Interesting blog and good timing.

  6. Thank you for the fresh and meaty advice.

    I know that time pressure really gets me so I aim to have all my shopping done before 1 December. I get serious about making a list and keeping it with me from 1 September. The years I’ve met my goal are the ones that our family enjoyed Christmas most.

  7. Daryl G says:

    I met my goals last year but kept striving to get my family the “perfect” Christmas. My mom was sick and my wife and kids had been through my oldest attempted suicide recovery and me losing my job. I wanted my family to have something during all this turmoil. I made life miserable for all of them on Christmas. This year my mom has passed but the rest of us will have a nice Christmas because I remember and have passed it along that it isn’t about my goals. It’s about God’s Grace.

    • I’ve been through Christmas’s like that, Daryl, and I know that it’s even harder to suffer when it seems the rest of the world is merry. I’ll be praying for your family this season.

      By the way, I studied Shorinryu Shidokan karate

  8. So fun to find another mom who has done martial arts and enjoys Jackie Chan! Thanks for this, Lori.