Ninja (忍者, literally, "One who is concealed") were agents of espionage and assassination, trained in the Japanese art of ninjutsu (roughly the art of stealth). It is popularly believed that the ancient ninja were peasants, who were forbidden under law from studying the samurai swordplay techniques because of the caste structure of their society. So the story goes that the author Donald Miller was approached by several men who wanted to make a movie from his autobiographical book, "Blue Like Jazz". So the two men (one of which is the old Christian rocker Steve Taylor) come to Nashville to spend some time with Donald to help make his life story into a movie. As they translate his story into a script, they keep attempting to rewrite the story.
Don becomes a bit incredulous and asks them why. Essentially they tell him that his life is a movie that no one would pay to see. If he expects anyone to be interested in the life he has lived, they are going to have to embellish the story...apply a literary "Bedazzler" to his story. Out of that experience, Donald resolved to live a different life. The story of that journey became the book "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years". (check out http://vimeo.com/20532733 )
I've got a friend we nicknamed "Ninja"...mostly because of his mad AV skills, but the description fits in other ways as well. He is very modest and unassuming...almost stealth like...but the weight of his glory is unmistakable. He not only offers his gifting for his church, but is one of the key reasons our "boot camps" have the impact they do. A well-executed media piece (Quanta Qualia) or well clipped and sound engineered clip can pierce the heart with the precision of a ninja's sword.
Almost 2 years ago, the Ninja got a copy of Donald Miller's book, "A Million Miles...". Like most men I know, he got stirred up by it. Unlike most men I know, he actuated that into living in a larger story. Inspired by a bike ride that Donald took in the book, he started dreaming of a ride across Texas to raise awareness and money for the "Wounded Warriors Project" which provides programs and services to extremely wounded veterans.
Last night, a 100 or so well-wishers got to celebrate the culmination of day 4 at the Bluebonnet Palace in San Antonio.
They were about half way through the almost 600 miles they will travel in total, and will ride up onto the U.S.S. Lexington aircraft carrier on Saturday as part of a Veteran's Day celebration. It was a great night of BBQ, music, family, & friends. His team now includes 11 other riders, trip sponsors, and lots of awareness raised through the media.
The Ninja was very tired, but you wouldn't have known it by looking at him. Answering the call of his Father, he has stepped up to take his place in the larger story of God and it was unmistakable for anyone who saw. The glory of the Lord shone all around and it was not only reflected on his face, but splashed onto that of his wife, kids, and anyone else who had the privilege to witness.
He may be stealth, but he is disruptive. Last night it was difficult to look at the life of this man and not feel challenged to change yours. God was glorified and His glory shone all around...through our Ninja. So proud to call you a friend and brother.