Sunday, June 28, 2009

Genchi Genbutsu

Genchi genbutsu means "go to the trouble spot." It does not mean go around it, hunt for it or go past it. No, it tells us to go directly to the spot with the big X on it.

After 10+ years of training in the martial arts, I've acquired a fondness for the simplicity and directness of the Asian culture. They call it as they see it.

The phrase genchi genbutsu got me to thinking how often we circle around the root of our problems because we don't (or can't) take the time to pinpoint it's epicenter. Yet, everything, when you think about it has an origin; a catalyst if you will that births the process.

Epidemiologists refer to Patient Zero as the source of infection, 9/11 is called Ground Zero, the birth of a star is a nova and the ultimate beginning of all time is named Genesis. Even tumors have a primary beginning that causes the spread of cancerous cells. No matter what it's called, it all boils down to the same concept: a creation or event that heralds the beginning of what didn't exist before. In other words, cause and effect.

For instance, maybe we have continuing trouble with relationships--either picking the "wrong" partner or subconsiously messing things up ourselves. Relationships crash and burn as a result. This might be something that is repeated over and over again until the root of the problem has been identified, dissected and treated. But, in order to do that, we have to become transparent to ourselves. We have to get figuratively naked.

Don't know about you but that's hard. It's hard to strip away our emotional defenses and be totally vulnerable. But, remember to "be strong and courageous" as advised to us in 1 Chronicles 23:12. With God by our side, we can face what needs to be faced, cut out what needs to be cut out so we can live fruitful, loving lives. God promises to "keep you from all evil" and "he will keep your life," so there is nothing to fear. (Psalm 121:7-8)

Going to the spot of trouble can bring healing and with healing will bring change. Are we ready for change or do we want to stay with the status quo, no matter how much it hurts or is not working? Not worth the trouble, you think? Well, think of it this way: if you keep sticking your finger in a dike will that fix the leak permanently? If all you want is a temporary fix, then you won't take the time to dig deep in prayer to heal your "spot of trouble." Permanent fixes usually take alot of work. It usually requires dismantling and rebuilding, like a cracked foundation. Yet, in the end, isn't all that work worth it?

Aren't you worth it?

Change is scary. Sometimes the familiar is easier, even if it fails or promotes hurt; even if it is toxic. If you are too scared to make that first step to fix your genchi genbutsu, think of these words from Jesus:

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flames shall not consume you."
Isaiah 43:1-2

I don't know about you, but to me that's some incredible warranty! Jesus has our backs at all times. There is no way we can fail. So, why not take a moment to identify your spot of trouble and go to it, face it and destroy it?

You've got everything to gain by doing so! Why not start now...

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A new life has begun! II Cor 5:17

A new life has begun! II Cor 5:17
God's GPS