“Is that rooster crowing as a question? Wait…where am I?” My mind fumbles through the short list of places I could be waking up – and lands on Taiwan. The sky barely lightens to cobalt at just a hair past 4:30 a.m. (I know, this is compliments of 13 hours of jet lag) and the wake up call rooster seems to be questioning his job performance. The dorm room I’ll call home this week is barely discernible by the scant light.
Today, we start karate camps. Over five days, almost 100 students attend the two camps totaling 15 training hours for them and 30 teaching hours for the ABKA karate instructors and interpreters from four countries…five if you count Texas. The Monday through Friday camps end with a tournament on Saturday enjoyed by almost 50 kids and teenagers. We celebrate the end of a great week’s work with dinner and an evening swim in the ocean.
It’s the waves that make me think.
Once we find the “sweet spot” for the waves, I notice different responses that loosely allegorize the human response to hardships and challenges, good or bad. Some face away, not backing up and just wait it out. Some jump with the rise and laugh, keeping their head mostly above water. Some turn and let the wave carry them shoreward. Others find the apex, plant their feet and take on the full force of each waves’ power. After each crash, we glance around for a quick head count, loosely line up together again and face the next one side by side.
Some of the kids attending this week were timid at first to start something unfamiliar. But they stuck it out. Some came knowing what to expect and trained with a good attitude as we expected. Others threw themselves into the hard training, showed up early, practiced during break time, and excelled. No matter the activity, they cheered and encouraged each other — chanting “go team” (in Chinese of course).
Through times of personal hardship, heavy family concerns, and debilitating injuries, no matter how we face them, we are fortunate to have friends and training partners lining up along side us, ready to face the next one. Of course, some are still on the sand while others didn’t come to the beach at all.
Between spells of waves, we’d gaze up towards stars and full moon, so vast and far away; or down towards tiny bioluminescent organisms glowing against our clothes which seemed to imitate the stars on a tiny scale. Our Creator reminds me of the attention He pays to the immense and the microscopic. The waves are answerable to His control — and I’m not facing them alone, with or without friends by my side.
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