I Am Bushido!
Here I sat at Bushido restaurant looking down the barrel of spicy tuna roll number 10 and wondering how I got here. Now as is my custom, I want to share this story with you, but I also want to draw a spiritual application and trust me it will get to that point but first the how of how I came to this point.
What is Bushido? According to dictionary.com bushido is the feudal code of the Japanese samurai, stressing self-discipline, courage, and loyalty. Bushido is also the name of a Sushi restaurant in Charleston, SC, which is where my story begins. Bushido is home to the Spicy Tuna Hand Roll Challenge that was brought to a national spotlight when it was completed by Adam Richman on the television show Man v. Food. Now I have watched this show many times, and every time I have thought to myself, “I could do that,” so why was this challenge any different? So here I sat with our camp pastor and camp director getting ready for this challenge to begin. The challenge rules are as follows:
- Challenger must sign a Waiver and Release form
- Challenger must be at least 18 years of age or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who must sign on their behalf.
- Challenger is NOT allowed to drink milk or dip their food in white sauce, nor is he allowed to eat anything that may help decrease the spice level of the challenge (i.e. no ice cream, no avocados, etc.) Don’t cheat dude! (or dudette)
- Challenger may not substitute fish. It’s called the Spicy TUNA Challenge!
- Don’t make yourself sick! If you go out to throw up or use the bathroom, the level where you are at will NOT be counted (i.e. if you throw up after level 7 then you will have to repeat that level). If, however, you do get sick, please use our bathroom and try to clean up after yourself. Throwing up outside or not cleaning up after yourself will make others sick. Please be considerate and make sure to use the bathroom BEFORE you start the challenge.
- Challenger must eat rolls in order from 1-10 and not backwards. You may sample any level but it will not count towards your progress.
- Deadline to start the challenger is at 9:15 pm (Monday-Saturday) and 8:15 pm on Sundays. This is because most challengers take so long to finish!
Now my goal in all of this was to eat as fast as possible and the first night I downed rolls 1-7. The deal at Bushido is that if you eat the rolls in multiple sittings you are a Warrior, but if you eat them at one time you are a Legend. After the 7th roll I was snotting and crying bad enough to quit, not to mention all of the rice and tuna that was in my stomach (if I could compare the hand rolls to anything it would be like a giant tuna ice cream cone). Well the camp pastor and director had only made it through roll 4 and quit, so I considered myself the man of the hour and that was as far as I intended to take the challenge. However, my camp pastor came up to me and told me that he was going to go back and catch up to me so that we could finish this challenge together. The first 7 rolls weren’t too bad but number 8 was where this challenge began to get difficult. Roll 8 contains a whole Habanero pepper and Rolls 9 and 10 contain Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia) . Now to put this into perspective let’s look at the Scoville heat scale very quickly:
So here Trey (the camp pastor) and I sat getting ready to eat rolls 8 and 9 and feeling more of a man for stepping up to complete the challenge. However, this challenge has a way of taking any manhood you may feel and humbling you. Just to sum up my experience with rolls 8 and 9, I will say 3 things: (1) Those peppers are as hot coming back up as they were going down (2) I found myself laying on the floor of a public bathroom in agony, and (3) Trey compared the pain of rolls 8-9 to someone holding a cigarette lighter to the lining of your stomach. As you may have noticed by now, I would never recommend this challenge to anyone, yet the challenge also was not over and in order to win the prize we still had to down one more tuna roll. Here I sat at Bushido restaurant looking down the barrel of spicy tuna roll number 10. Tuna roll 9 had some ghost pepper but tuna roll 10 had a lot of ghost pepper and when it was set in front of me, I turned to Trey and said, “I don’t know about this”, to which he responded, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T KNOW?!” He was right, the challenge was going to be completed that day. We took some Pepto half an hour before the challenge, and there we began. Now Trey shot a video of this, which neither of us have watched in its entirety, but after about a half hour we received a complimentary glass of milk, a headband, our picture on the wall, and a $25 gift certificate. While this may seem well and good, this does not even begin to describe my intestinal pain for the next 8 hours, the fact that I had to take a muscle relaxer to ease the pain, and that I considered calling someone to take me to the hospital to get my stomach pumped. But the challenge was finished.
Again, I will tell you that all I received was a headband, a $25 gift certificate (which didn’t cover half the cost of the challenge itself), and my picture on the wall of a restaurant that I will probably never go back to. I had to finish for the prize; I had to finish because my pride was on the line. Like I promised, here comes the spiritual application.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
Here I was completing a challenge for a headband, a gift certificate, and a picture, but this passage is telling us that the prize we run for is worth so much more. People, we are not running this race with no aim, and we are not just running to win a headband. Our call is to preach the word to all people. These athletes that Paul is talking about would train their whole lives just to be able to win this olive leaf crown and the glory of their town. I sat and ingested the hottest pepper in the world just to have my picture on a wall and get a headband. But isn’t our call so much bigger than this? I was willing to push through the pain to achieve the prize. Regardless of the sacrifice, we need to be willing to beat our bodies into submission for the cause of Christ. It is not easy to think that taking up our cross and following Christ could result in us giving our lives or giving up our livelihood. I have had so many conversations with people asking if they truly want the will of God in their lives no matter what the cost, and the fact is that we have to fight and follow after Christ knowing that in the end the prize is worth the cost. If we place no limits on God, there are no limits to what God can do in us. While it may be hard and painful, the eternal prize is more than worth the wait!
Posted on December 19, 2011, in Christian Living, Spiritual Disciplines and tagged Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Family Ministry, Pastor, Religion, Student Ministry, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.