Originally posted at Ekerk.

My son recently told me that he wants to “do karate”. So I took him to a local dojo, at an Afrikaans school. I decided to sit in on the class to see what the sensei, a Japanese word meaning “person born before another” or “teacher”, would impart into my precious son. Unfortunately the sensei gave the little ones over to one of his students. This youngster opened the class with his aspirant novices sketching the following scenario,

“What would you do if you are walking down the street and a man pulls a gun or a knife on you and your mommy?”

Jesus once said the blind cannot lead the blind. This scenario didn’t compute well with his audience of five-year-olds. For the rest of the class the blind sensei taught the little kids how to defend against a knife attack. He showed them how to turn a knife back on an assailant. Needless to say, the class unraveled from that point.

It was not my brightest parenting moment.

As we drove home, Liam and I reflected on his experience. He voiced his distaste,

“I don’t want to knife anyone dad!”

Back home Liam went to his room, closed the door, and started sobbing. It was the kind of crying that heaves the whole body in swells of sorrow. After he calmed down he confided in me why he wanted to “do karate”,

“Daddy I like the karate clothes. Can I wear the clothes and the cool colored belt without training in karate?”

Liam desired the clothes without the training.

This got me thinking about Christianity and what it means to be Christian. What does it mean to “do Christianity”? I realized that many times I want Jesus clothes without the training of Jesus (Eph 4:20-24).

In contrast to Liam’s “instructor”, Sensei Jesus invites me into a dojo of love, it is a process called discipleship. In this dojo I learn how to bless those who curse me, love my enemies and turn the other cheek. It is a dojo wherein I train to love God, others and myself within God’s kingdom of love.

Jesus once said that when a disciple, “is fully trained he will be like his teacher.”(Luke 6.40). If I want Jesus clothes, I am invited to become a disciple and train in Jesus’ dojo. The church is supposed to be this dojo.

My dojo day with Liam reminds me that to be a Christian means training with Jesus. The question is, “Am I willing to train?”.