JUDO CHAMPION - A STORY OF FAITH AND OBEDIENCE
A couple was traveling along a highway one day with their 11-year old son when they became involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. In the course of accident, their son Josh lost his left arm.
Following his recovery his parents enrolled Josh in a course of instruction in judo, so that he might develop some self confidence in spite of his handicap.
His coach or "sensei" (sen-say) took him under his wing and began to instruct him in judo protocol and basics, but very soon began coaching him on one particular move. Every session he had the Josh work on perfecting this one judo move.
Josh had tremendous respect for his sensei, but after several months he finally said: "Sensei, for nine months now you have been having me practice this same move. Shouldn't I be practicing some other moves?"
The sensei said: "I understand your impatience, but I want you to continue to work on this one move for now, until you have perfected it. I ask you to trust me on this."
So the young man continued to work hard on this one move.
About three months later the sensei approached the son and said: "There is a judo tournament in two months. I want you to enroll and participate in the tournament." When Josh protested that he'd have little chance of success with his handicap the sensei smiled and said "You'll do o.k. And it will be a good experience. Trust me on this"
Well, the date of the tournament arrived, and although he felt badly outmatched because of his handicap, Josh quickly won his opening match.
Using his one move, he continued to win each successive match, including the quarter finals and semi finals, and found himself pitted against last year's champion, who was larger and more experienced than he, in addition to having the use of both arms. Just before the championship match was to begin he observed that his opponent was smiling, and displaying all the symptoms of someone who was arrogantly sure of victory.
The referee approached the sensei and said "Look, your student does not have a chance against this guy. He's made a valiant showing so far, but this guy is much better than anyone he has gone against tonight. Let him accept second place without having to unnecessarily suffer. There would be no dishonor in this." But the sensei said: "No! He has earned the right to compete. Let the match continue."
So the match began -- and was over in record time, with Josh winning by throwing the champion to the mat three times in rapid succession using the move his sensei'd had him work on for so long. To the amazement of all, including Josh, the new champion.
Later, on the way home, with the championship trophy resting on his lap, Josh asked with complete sincerity, "Sensei, how did I win this trophy? How did I win the championship - especially given my handicap? My opponent was far more experienced than I, knows lots more move. How did I win?"
The Sensei replied. "You won for two reasons:
First, you have perfected the move I taught you, which is one of the most difficult moves to learn in judo. Second, the only defense against this move is to grab the opponent's left arm!"
Moral: Sometimes we may not understand why God directs us to a certain course of action or why certain things happen to us. Sometimes we just have to have the faith to be obedient, and accept His guidance until later --when the reason for the direction (or for what happened) becomes clear.