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Now that you're a black belt have you arrived?

Someone recently asked me, "Do you feel different now that you have you're black belt? Do you feel like you've arrived? Is it cool?" As I thought about the question I realized that I don't feel like I've arrived at all. In fact, I would liken my feelings to a person who is lining up to run a marathon, not like the runner who has finished the marathon. In martial arts, as with any art that one might seek to master (relationships, painting, photography, writing, hunting, etc), there is always more to learn and refine. We chase a goal that is unreachable, perfection. Yet we still seek it. I'm convinced that this is why people talk so much about enjoying the journey.

In this I see a similarity with Christianity. True salvation comes through faith in Christ. Yet even after our salvation is assured through a relationship with Jesus we are called to be sanctified, holy. We are called to this sanctification knowing full well that we cannot attain it in this life. I am convinced that this constant desire and striving to be holy through a deeper relationship with Christ is all about the journey which should be Glorifying to Him.

In my relationship with Jesus, as in Karate, I do not feel like I have arrived and I'm glad of this. If I did that would mean I just did these things for the credentials instead of the journey.

"Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." Ecclesiastes 12:13