Time for some Christian Perspective. For those Avatar fans, most are familiar with Katara teaching Aang how to waterbend. That was part of the inspiration for the art. For those new to the term, water bending is simply controlling of water. Moving it with your mind. Examine the photo. Let’s keep an open mind for the sake of this post. You would expect the lady to control the waves from the ocean to draw the fish out of water. Instead, she does it differently. She draws water out of a phone and conseqeuntly, a dolphin. That is the level she’s at. She not only thinks differently, but has obtained a different level of mastery all together. How does one attain such a state? Kaizen is the doorway.
Kaizen. A Japanese word meaning continuous improvement. It is a long-term approach that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality. Small steps eventually turn to giant leaps and bounds. That is it’s power. Practice makes perfect. Start in any venture and consistently progress in small steps and before you know it, you will be accomplishing feats that can even surprise you.
Luke 16:10: “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”
If you can be able to handle little, and faithfully be progressive, then sooner than you think, you will be able to handle much. And the opposite is also true. It holds both ways.
John 15:1-2: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (KJV)
Notice that you can be in either one of two states. You are either bearing fruit or not. Life is either progressive, or regressive whether you can feel it or not. It’s never static. If you cannot feel a sense of progress, that is because you are in a state of regress and vice versa. Learning is never comfortable but it is fruitful. Outside the comfort zone is where the magic happens. The Holy Spirit is our comforter, but you can rarely experience the comfort of the Holy Spirit outside your comfort zone.
Change may be a difficult process. Learning is uncomfortable. Maybe even painful. The word purge in John comes from the greek word katharos which means to purify by fire.
Malachi 3:3 “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”
Anytime you follow the path of God, constrained in the ways of discipline, you will notice that you will always come out purified! Purification by fire is painful. But you come out cleansed with power. That’s the beauty of it.
Hebrews 12:11 : “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (NIV)
There is a certain level you rise to when you follow the path of discipline. A heightened sense of fulfulment and peace rushes in your system as well. But without discipline and that consistency, some of the ideas you have will never see the light of day. Your state will always be regressive and that in itself is also painful. The path of discipline is painful yes, but it is pain with meaning. The other path on the other hand, is pain without meaning. As we saw in John 15, you are taken away with no fruit to show.
There are pains experienced in two categories. You either suffer the pain of regret, or the pain of discipline.
Discipline doesn’t require you to move a mountain in a single day. Rome wasn’t built in a day as we know it. All you need to do is move step by step. Day by day. Little by little. That is all. It may be uncomfortable and there are days you may not feel like it. But keep moving nonetheless. Keep yourself in a progressive state. The state of Kaizen. Keep learning and growing as you go and grow go. That is how you increase strength in whatever you do.
Proverbs 24:5: “A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.” (KJV)
There is a certain kind of strength that you can only muster from increased knowledge.
Wisdom is like a sharp axe. So not only does it help you succeed, but it lessens your effort and mobilizes efficiency.
Ecclesiastes 10:10: “Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.” (NLT)
With knowledge you know, and with wisdom you get to know what to select from what you know. Wisdom comes primarily from the word of God.
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
Understanding there comes from the hebrew word biyn which means to discern. When you consistently engage with the word, your knowlegde transcends to discernment and you are enlightened on what to do with what information. You begin to walk in a different level entirely.
So continually learn. Continually abide in that progressive state. Do not underestimate the power of little. Faith as little as mustard seed can move mountains. A little sleep and slumber as well is a doorway to robbery by poverty as well. Don’t let the regressive state creep in. Keep knowing, keep growing, keep going. Little by little, day by day and you will be astounded by the mountain you will have uprooted. Kaizen!
Artwork title: The power of Kaizen
Creative commons Attributions to the art: Find them here.