Many people find rigorous physical activities a useful antidote to stress. Oliver Christopher chose karate, the ancient are of self-defiance. He learned that karate helped his concentration, self discipline and confidence. He learned this art at an early age and became India's #1 Karate champion in the Open Martial Arts Tournament. He repeated this success in Bangalore, India in 1994.
Christopher soon discovered he would need more than karate to give him strength. Karate may help remove mental stress, but it can also cause sever physical injuries. During a competition, he landed on his neck. Like Christopher Reeves, who's now a quadriplegic due to a tragic accident, he too, should have become a quadriplegic but somebody saved him. Christopher searched for that person and found Him in Jesus Christ.
His experience of Jesus was so deep and definite that he has never missed an opportunity to tell his students about Jesus. He has trained more than two thousand students. Jesus' compassion has so filled him that he has reached out to the poor and needy. In institutions where injustice prevails, Christopher has stood for justice. The cost has been high in terms of salary and relationships.
There are many people who seek a comfortable, non-controversial and easy going faith. Christopher on the contrary, is more concerned about taking a stand for truth. The possibility of criticism does not deter him from standing for justice. He says, "The more I prayed about injustice, the more I felt Jesus wanted me to be involved. I could have walked away from this challenge, but I didn't." Christopher is convinced that following Jesus means a total commitment to Him. Karate and concern for the poor are not unrelated activities. They are linked to his deep appreciation of Jesus as his Lord. In his order of priorities today, obeying Jesus Christ comes before karate. In the final analysis, Christopher finds obeying Christ through defending the poor, a much better way of overcoming stress than karate.
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