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Adieu, 2017 Reflections

At this time of year, we tend to focus on all the holiday festivities: decorating, buying presents, preparing for parties, traveling, etc. We are so busy, busy, busy. Time flies and we look back thinking where has all the time gone? December is the last month of 2017 and we look forward to our future and a new year. However, we need to look back and see what happened. We need to check ourselves. Did we focus more on materialism or spiritualism?Those who live only for materialism, you will never find true life. Materials bring us only temporary satisfaction, but we will always be searching for something new or something else soon after. Instead of all temporary happiness and empty worldly gifts, why not focus on our life after? True happiness and gifts are in the Spirit. We invest all this time into buying goods and making money, but when we are close to death, we cannot take these things with us. Our thinking and practice should always focus on cultivating the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. -Romans 8:5-10

As Tae Kwon Do practitioners, our thinking and path is the same. If you look at our forms (poomse), there are horizontal lines and vertical lines. These lines meet and form a cross. This cross is like Jesus Christ's cross. The vertical line represents all the love and forgiveness given to us through Christ's sacrifice. The horizontal line represents our path. Just as Christ opened his arms to love the world, we must do the same. The path of Tae Kwon Do is love. Love is our self-defense against anger, hatred, greed, and all the human malice. It is easy for us to receive love, but much harder for us to give it. As black belts we know how to physically fight, but we must always focus on fighting ourselves. Fight our anger, our ego, and all the things that keeps us from love. We need to focus on things that matter and discard the things that waste our life.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” -Romans 8:12-15

Our thinking of self-defense is to always improve and to better ourselves. In order to do this, we must not repeat our mistakes and our sins. This is why we must look back and reflect, to see our goodness as well as our wrongdoings. In Tae Kwon Do, we practice our forms over and over again. We repeat our movements, but it is not the same. It should not be the same. We should make each movement better each time: our breathing, our timing, our power and our speed. When we kick and punch, it should not be the same ones as yesterday. Your kick and punch should be different, better than what you did yesterday. As our days go by, our physical abilities only worsen, but our minds and spirit has infinite possibilities. How will you spend your time now?

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. -Romans 8:18

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