A Slight Adjustment: Five Karate Moves to Success

It’s that time of year again where we’re all in need of a slight adjustment.

Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday have passed and, just around the corner, pitchers and catchers will report to spring training.  While the season of Lent takes us on a journey towards Easter, baseball in Florida and Arizona will be leading us towards Opening Day.

Now at first glance, the two of these things really don’t have a lot in common, other than the fact that they happen roughly the same time of year every year.  However, as I have been reading about, and listening to, the many players hoping to make MLB rosters in 2015, a common trend has appeared:

When asked what they did over the winter to prepare for this spring, many players said a version of the following: “I made some slight adjustments”.

I love that advice.  We could all benefit from doing the same.

For many people, Lent is a time of year to “give up something” or “pick up something” in hopes of making a slight adjustment to their life.  The overall goal is that through these methods, they would become closer to God and in better touch with themselves.  Or, if you aren’t viewing Lent through a religious lens and rather a time of year for self-improvement, your goal is probably to become a better person or more of the person you would like to be – a spring cleaning of sorts.

johnny-karateIn the most recent episode of Parks and Recreation, Johnny Karate (Andy Dwyers children’s show character) is saying goodbye to all the kids for his last show.  But, before he does, he walks them through the “Five Karate Moves to Success”: Make Something, Learn Something, Karate Chop Something, Try Something New (even if it’s scary to you), and Be Nice to Someone.  If you’re like me and you’re finding it hard to embrace the season of Lent this year, here are five places to start making some slight adjustments…

  1. Make Something:  “But what shall I make?” you might ask.  Make a friend, make a picture, make a meal, make a song, make someone smile, make a book, make a bed, make a trip, make a style change…Pick something to make and make it!
  2. Learn Something:  Learn anything.  The options are endless!  Science, math, history, a language, art, athletics, psychology, auto maintenance, how to fly, theology, whatever…pick something and learn it!
  3. Karate Chop Something:  Not literally (unless you want to I guess).  But, maybe it’s time to Karate Chop something (or someone) out of your life.  This is never easy, and it’s typically a process, and you’ll need support, but it’s often necessary.  Like a band-aid…Karate Chop!
  4. Try Something New (even if it’s scary to you):  This really takes putting yourself out there and being creative.  By far, this is the most difficult one for me.  I have things I’m good at and I like to stick with those.  ‘If I try something new, I might not be good at it, which can be embarrassing and might require me to practice or, even worse, I might not like it and then I wasted my time and probably my money and blah, blah, blah’…sound familiar?  Don’t let yourself go down the “I’m never going to try something scary and new” spiral of death.  I travel it often.  Don’t do it.  Try something new.  Travel on the “I’m willing to take a risk and be adventurous for once because I’ve always wanted to try (blank) and I just haven’t” spiral of life.  Pick something new and try it!
  5. Be Nice to Someone:  Anyone.  I don’t care.  Pick someone.  A friend, a family member, yourself, a teacher, a police officer, someone at the grocery store, a bank teller, that person you’re on the phone with, someone at work, anyone!  Heck, even my microwave was nice to me this morning.  It said “Enjoy your meal!  Have a nice day.”  We can all be as nice as a microwave, can’t we?  Find someone and be nice!

It’s that time of year again where we’re all in need of a slight adjustment.

Not so God will love you more, because that’s impossible.  God already loves you as much as God can.  (If you don’t believe that, or even if you do but you need a reminder, follow the journey of Lent towards Easter.  Trust me, God loves you.)

Let’s all make a slight adjustment so we can be closer to the people God created us to be.

Ninjas.

3 thoughts on “A Slight Adjustment: Five Karate Moves to Success”

  1. I like this; as usual you found a really creative doable way to look at something not so easy. I love parks & recreation, this made me smile/laugh, and then think – I’ve never liked Lent; this method though I can totally get into- thanks for sharing-this is totally great for kids too! But, that’s what you are totally great with anyway:) Happy Adjusting! Hollie

    1. Hello Hollie – Thank you for your feedback and your constant encouragement. It means a lot to me! I first started watching Parks and Recreation on a Netflix binge watch a few years back during a dark, cold, wintery day/night/day at camp 🙂 I’ve been watching ever since. I think this was one of my favorite episodes because it was so creative and fun and different. Plus, I think and act a bit like a kid, sooooo…

      I never really know what to do during Lent, either, which is why I was so thankful for the friendly advice from Johnny Karate. You already succeeded at #5: Be Nice to Someone. I am thankful for your kindness!

      1. Funny, I started watching parks and rec. on an on demand binge this dark and cold January! It’s my fav right now and I think the Farmers Market episode is my all time fav episode- though I haven’t seen this episode yet:). I love Andy – also Chris’s Pratt aka #12th man!
        I’m sure winter was pretty long at Lutherhaven! I get to head up there in a couple weeks again for CCQ. Looking at the summer sched too.
        Both of your Lent posts have helped me reframe the Lent of my childhood from barely-can-sit-through-another-dirge-and-not-eat-chocolate-Lutheran experience to maybe meaningful and even -gasp-fun:).
        I like it when we are able to think-act like kids as “adults” 🙂 Kids are the best at so much of life!
        Hollie

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