This month, 12 members of a family of 13 drove thousands of miles from Idaho to Oklahoma to spend about a month training at our Hombu Dojo. They attended all three martial arts camps hosted there. During non-camp days, they spent between five and eight hours training including three evening classes a week in Tulsa — which is more than an hour drive each way. All told, they each exceeded 100 hours of training.
They’ve spent a tremendous amount of time away from their farm, from their dad, from crops and animals, not to mention thousands of dollars in travel expenses. It’s clear where their priorities lie. So what drives them to endure the hard training, long hours, sacrifices and expense? There is an opportunity for ministry on the reservation where they live. There is a high rate of drug and alcohol abuse, lack of activities for young people, low self-discipline and a dearth of structure. This is a need in their community they can meet by starting a Christian martial arts club.
Zooming out for context: the Hardman family lost their house in Piedmont, OK to a tornado about three years ago. Very little of their belongings were saved. At that time, everyone who was old enough to be involved in karate was an active member at a nearby club. Since then, they have relocated. They have not been able to advance in their training, but they haven’t lost their desire to keep going despite the huge obstacles.
They found a way to “surmount” the insurmountable.
“If you really want to do something, you will always find a way. If you don’t, you will always find a way out.”
They see an opportunity to do good for others and are willing to do whatever it takes to reach that goal.
It’s been said that to find someone’s priorities, look at their bank statement. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” For those of us with less cash to track, it may be more accurate to look at how we spend our time. Time equals life. The way we spend our time reveals the priorities of our life…it IS our life.
End of this chapter of their story: The hours of practice culminated in a belt test at one of our larger dojos in Tulsa. What a joy to see them succeed, tie on new belts, advance some ranks, and celebrate with them knowing this is a significant step towards something greater.
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