Monday, February 1, 2016

Bringing the Light Part 1 - A Christian Perspective on Own a (Martial Arts) Business

When I was a physics undergraduate in the 70's, the watershed event was not learning how atomic and nuclear bombs were made or even that light was both particle and wave. The scary thing to learn was that only a few people, perhaps 10%, had sufficient imagination to run a physics experiment of the impossible within their own heads, rather than in the lab. This rocked my world, because I had always had that gift, and just assumed everyone did. (Albert Einstein's famous Gedanken Experiment. Britannica defines a "Gedanken Experiment" as term used by German-born physicist Albert Einstein to describe his unique approach of using conceptual rather than actual experiments in creating the theory of relativity.) I have learned, however, given discipline and time, anyone can run such an experiment in their own discipline.

So, to start this article off, I have a Gedanken Experiment for you in business, specifically the Martial Arts Business.  If you are a Christian, you already have the requisite information to see what I have seen. If you are not, replace my moral code, that of the Jesus, with your own.  It works still.

Imagine, if you would, Jesus getting out of a car in your parking lot.  At first, you don't recognize him, because he is in a suit, and his hair is short, and he just looks like he's just another guy.  But when you open the door, you notice something about him.  It's hard to pin down, but there is peace, and authority around him, like a force field. This puts you a little ill at ease, because your a martial artist after all, and it is generally your authority that rules the roost, but there it is, making you feel strange, perhaps a little wrong.  Yet, you overcome your moment of doubt, stand up, approach him as you would any other visitor, with your shoulder's back, your head held high, and your black belt attitude of confidence and success on full, just as it always is.  Your extend your hand, but before you get your verbal greeting out, you're frozen in place as his hand meets your hand. You have completely forgotten about how awesome your days is, and how much you can help him.  You just stop moving, and for a few second, breathing too.

Jesus' power flows from him to you, and you fall to your knees, trapped somewhere between awe and shock. You know who he is now, and a tear starts to run down your face.  Doubt, fear, love all rush in, and you bow your head.  At that exact moment, he reaches out with his other hand, places it on your shoulder, and says, "Fear not, my good and faithful servant.  Rise and greet me." And so you do. You grip him in a hug, and your fears are all washed away.  Jesus is here, to see you!

As you break away, he looks you in they eyes, and says, "Show me around this section of my Church." You heard him right.  His Church.

You see, your business is not a business, but it's your mission, a part of the church of Jesus, just like any other in importance, but it's the gift he has given to YOU to run for him.

So, you are ready.  You have spent 100's of hours sharpening your business skills. You know your are one of the best, perhaps the best; or, at the very least, very competitive with those other martial arts schools which are just not quit as well run as yours.  You understand investment, and you have fairly well memorized the story of the talents, and you will be, again, that good and faithful servant. You got this one.

Where would you start?  The Front Desk, where you are standing? The intro room, one of the floors, the book keeping software?  Think for a moment, where would your start Jesus's tour of your business, showing how your were using this gift he gave you?

Just then, Jesus says, "When I returned to the Father, I told my servants that they were to go forth and preach the gospel, and that they should be known by others as mine, because of how they treat others. Show me how you do that."

Now where would you start?  Do you show, preach or live the Gospel at your school? 

Do you think that the story of the talent's teaches capitalism?  Do you flip "groupons" into regular programs for more profit?  Do you bait and switch so that they buy the bigger experience? Do you ring in cash purchases or just stick them in the drawer?

Where would your start your tour for Jesus now? 

As you are thinking about this, Jesus actually rescues you, just as if he knows what you were thinking.  He knows you have a talent for business, so he lets you off the hook, and says, "Show me how you spend your profits for the betterment of the kingdom."

Yep, your business is part of you, and part of the kingdom. Are your ready to tell him how it profits you or are you ready to show him how it profits the kingdom?

Then he says, How big of a Christmas Bonus did you pay to the UPS driver I just saw leave your parking Lot?  

Are you bills paid on time, and if not, how do you deal with that? Do your suppliers recognize you as a successful business or as a Christian who is successful?

So, to finish this article up, the real question you need to submit to a Gedanken Experiment is: Jesus says to you, "How have you used this gift from the Father to benefit the Kingdom of God" and your answer must start with:

Lord, This is what we do to show the world we are Christians:_______________________________

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