THE ULTIMATE BLACK BELT
By Dana Stamos
My Sensei, Master Glenn Ristine and the Kyusho-jitsu Kenkyukai, awarded me my Black Belt in Isshin-ryu Karate-do. Receiving this Black Belt is one of the highlights of my life. I called my “Martial Arts” spiritual mentor, Pastor Fran Pultro, to share with him the news. He has counseled me through many years as I worked toward my Black Belt goals. After our talk, he sent me an E-Card and in it he said,
“This day and always, I pray that you continually look for hope and acceptance from the One who mends broken hearts; the One who stripped Himself of all rank in order to touch your life.”
What a profound message for all of us. Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah, who gave up his rank to be born in a dirty, smelly stable. He grew up working as a carpenter, healing the sick, feeding those who hungered not only for food, but for love and purpose. He was stripped naked, beaten until he was almost dead and then placed on a cross to die and throughout all of this, He never pulled rank.
He became a lowly White Belt who you and I could relate too. He laid down His rank willingly, to bring hope and salvation to a dying world. If that doesn't change one’s perspective, what could? My goal of becoming a Black Belt was a good one, but there is a bigger goal we must strive for, to live like Jesus, with the strength of a Black Belt, and the servant's heart of a White Belt.
May you live everyday with the goal of becoming more like the Ultimate Black Belt, Jesus, a true example of the teachers we should strive to be.
May every day bring you the peace that comes with knowing the God who created you, the God who allowed Himself to be stripped of all rank so that He could bring you into a personal relationship with Himself.
With Love and Respect,