Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Exit The Dragon - Bruce Lee vs. The Creator

Let me first say that I believe in positive thinking, or having a positive attitude...

...IF...that positive attitude is based on biblical truth and hope, and not just on some I-Am-Captain-Of-My-Soul-Master-Of-My-Fate nonsense.

If you are a Christian, it's foolish to be negative and pessimistic about your future if you know that God is working all things together for your good.

However, the specifics of your future, even as a believer, are known only to God.

So even if some Word-Of-Faith Charismatic teaches you to "believe for a new car", or "speak things into existence" like God does, don't listen to him.

He foolishly thinks we are "little gods" and can do what God does ("God, who...calls those things which do not exist as though they did;" - Romans 4:17).

That kind of attitude is even more tragic in the case of an unbeliever.

I write these things because I read about a letter that the famous martial artist and actor Bruce Lee wrote to himself in 1969.

I was into martial arts myself back in the early 1970's, and Bruce Lee was a sort of hero to a bunch of us who couldn't get enough of Kung Fu movies, and professional boxing matches.

I still remember spending more money than I could afford, to watch the Ali-Frazier "Thrilla in Manila" fight via live closed-circuit broadcast at the Civic Auditorium in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But I digress.

Anyway, a "positive thinking" marketing guy emailed to me this letter that Bruce Lee sent himself in 1969.

The marketing guy was all excited because he saw the letter as a wonderful example of the "power of positive thinking", and exclaimed that he was going to write himself a similar letter, so that he could shape his future! And wouldn't I like to do the same?

Well, no.

And not because I don't want a nice earthly future, and good income, and wonderful accomplishments, and all that. But because the letter has a glaring sadness to it.

Here's the letter:

I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental
super star in the United States. In return I will give
the most exciting performance and render the best of
quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970, I
will achieve world fame and from then onwards till the
end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I
will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony
and happiness.

Bruce Lee
Jan 1969

I don't know how much "inner harmony and happiness" Lee experienced. I suspect not as much as he planned. He certainly earned a lot of money, and fame that has not diminished much even today.

But you know what the most glaring "issue" with his letter is?

Bruce Lee died in 1973. So much for his plans for 1980.


I happen to know of the huge influence of Eastern Mysticism in Lee's life, and so I can say confidently that he was not "in tune" with Jesus Christ. He opposed, not loved, the true God of the Bible, at least until the end of his life (of course we don't know the final moments of his or anyone's heart).

But when I read this letter, sent to me as "Great!", my sadness was matched by the rushing into my mind of two Scriptures (I'm glad God had planted them in my mind):

James 4:15 - Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."

Matthew 16:26a - For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Many things about tomorrow,
I don’t seem to understand;
But I know Who holds tomorrow,
And I know Who holds my hand.
- Ira Stanphill


Bhedr said...

Another great post brother. A buzz kill for the world but full of hope for the one who embraces the truth of what you are saying here.

Terry Rayburn said...

Thanks, Brian. You keep blogging, too, brother. Always appreciate your words.