An airborne soldier walks into a karate dojo (school). No, that is not the beginning of a bad joke. It's what happened during a karate class when my karate sensei (teacher) was just a student himself.

The GI talked with the instructor, explained his background and sparred with a few of the students. The airborne trooper started to show off, so the instructor decided it was time for the soldier to spar with him.

As my karate teacher recalls, the GI lived up to his "airborne" designation as the instructor had the guy flying through the air from one end of the training area to the other.

The guy got up, got dressed in his street clothes and got going. It was as one of my fellow karate students pointed, "He wasn't there to learn; he was there to show how much he knew."

While I realized that I would never be foolish to try to show off with my long-time karate teacher, my sense of self-satisfaction disappeared very quickly.

How often have I read a spiritual book and found myself thinking that I might have been able to write parts of it differently? How often have I heard a homily or sermon and thought that I might have been able to make a point better?

Worst of all, how often have I prayed to God and have done all the talking?

We don't pray to God to show off how much we know. We should go to Him to learn in the light of God's love.


God is a loving teacher,

but we must want to learn.