The classic 1985 movie, The Karate Kid, contains a scene so memorable, it’s become a pop culture reference. In this scene, the teenage protagonist, Daniel LaRusso, vented his frustration toward his mentor, Mr. Miyagi, for assigning him seemingly irrelevant tasks— painting a fence, sanding a floor, and waxing a car. Daniel wanted training in martial arts, but instead he heard, “Wax on, wax off.”
Then suddenly it all came together and made sense. Daniel realized all those tedious hours of work were part of his training. What seemed like meaningless chores had been cultivating the skill and building the strength he needed. Mr. Miyagi wasn’t ignoring or even delaying Daniel’s request to learn karate. He was fulfilling it in an unexpected way.
If we are to carry out the Lord’s commandment to love others as ourselves, we must be trained by the Holy Spirit. One of the primary ways the Holy Spirit shapes us is through prayer. When we pray for others, we are building a spiritual skill and strength to love like Jesus loves.