Sermon: Living with Perspective (February 9, 2008)

Rev. Hyung Jin Nim’s Sermon Headquarter Church ,Chungpadong,Seoul
February 9, 2008 Topic: Living with Perspective

And so it’s important, when we look at ourselves, that we realize that we are children of True Parents, that we have that tremendous value, that we have unique value, cosmic value, and divine value. And it’s so important to look at ourselves this way because that’s the highest perspective. That’s God’s perspective.

Hyung Jin Nim’s Welcome Message:

Brothers and sisters, let’s always remember, before we start our service, to see ourselves from God’s viewpoint. As we recall from the fall we know that Lucifer saw Adam and Eve with the wrong eyes. He saw them with his own eyes. He couldn’t understand their value.

And so it’s important, when we look at ourselves, that we realize that we are children of True Parents, that we have that tremendous value, that we have unique value, cosmic value, and divine value. And it’s so important to look at ourselves this way because that’s the highest perspective. That’s God’s perspective.

So I always want to encourage you, every time we start our service, that’s the way we should start, knowing who we are, knowing whose we are, knowing that we are precious, that we are filled with value. Father said in the blessed family text that the blessed families are those whom the sages have waited for all throughout the ages, the families that are the providential fruit of God’s sweat, His tears and of His wish.

Let us remember that we are that kind of precious families, all of you. We’re all engrafted into the original lineage. True Parents are flowing through us. They are always loving us. They believe in us.

It’s so important that we see ourselves with that kind of right perspective. I want to encourage you that whenever you go out and see each other please see each other with those eyes with that beautiful vision for each other. When we can do this we can really start creating that ideal kingdom before our eyes.

Brothers and sisters, welcome so much. We have a lot of guests from the States. Brothers and sisters from the States, welcome you all. It’s such an international gathering. We want to send out to all our brothers and sisters throughout the world. And thank you all for coming. Welcome!!

Yeon Ah Nim’s Message:

A couple of days ago, it was a big Korean National Holiday. We went to the Peace Palace and had breakfast with True Parents. While we were eating, True Father really praised my husband and me, our couple, for our effort in church building. And I was really delighted to know that True Father is really happy about our ministry.

So after that meal, I told my husband, “Oh Appa, that was really nice. True Father really praised us. You also must feel really good, right!?” And I asked him with a big smile and my husband said, “Well yah, I feel good. Yes, I do. But I also know that words are just words so I don’t want to get attached to it. Because it can come and it can go, too. So instead of getting attached to the praise I’ll continue to do my best to serve our congregation and look forward to what I can do for our people.”

That was his response. At that moment I realized that I am always going up and down with the emotional roller coaster. When people praise me, I go up and feel good. And when people criticize us, oh, I get low. So this is the way that I was riding that emotional roller coaster.
And also I saw many people getting way up high when True Father praised them. And when True

Father corrected them they would have total depression. They are roller coasters as well, just like me.
Brothers and sisters, let us always keep the right perspective whether it’s a praise or a blame. The most important thing is that we do our best regardless. That’s what I believe. Brothers and sisters, we love you so much and we believe in you. Aju!!
Interesting story by Hhyung Jin Nim:

I heard a story about Joey. When Joey was in his class he asked his Rabbi, Mr. Goldblat: “Mr. Goldblat, is it true that the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea?” And Mr. Goldblat said “Yes, that is right, Joey.” And Joey asked, “Mr. Goldblat, is it true that the children of Israel built the holy temple in Jerusalem?” And he said “Yes, that is right, Joey”. And he said “Is it true, Mr. Goldblat, that the children of Israel fought the Egyptians, they fought the Romans, as God directed them?” And Mr. Goldblat said, “Yes, that is right, Joey; and so what is your question?” And Joey said, “Well, I’m just wondering, where were all the adults? (Laughter). How could they have the children do such dangerous things?”

Main Sermon by Hyung Jin Nim:

As we are living the blessed life as blessed families, it is so important in our lives to live with perspective. And if we are to truly live that blessed life, then it is very important for us to sort of step back and always gain perspective in our lives. In our lives as Blessed Families, we will have victorious moments. Hopefully we will have always more and more of those. But we will also have moments where we will somewhat feel defeated.

In both those moments, it is important to learn how to move forward. With certain victories we can actually get caught up in the victory and in the celebration and forget to move on and forget to start preparing for the next victory.

In our moments of defeat, it is important to learn what we can from those experiences and then continue to move forward, to learn what God is teaching you through those experiences and press on forward. We realize that many of our brothers and sisters around the world are in hard times right now. But it is so important that we really practice faith and love and obedience.

When we start looking into our future we may be dealing with a sickness. A lot of our family members around the world are dealing with sickness. We always get requests for prayer for sicknesses. But let us always remember, if we are dealing with a sickness, to look into the future, to see with faith into the future, to see you getting better. To see yourselves getting whole and filled with light.

It is so important to create that visualization in your mind, to visualize, to practice visualization all the time, to visualize in our minds and in our hearts, and then to speak over that vision words of love and encouragement, to nurture that vision, to nurture that visual picture in your mind. (It is so important) to see yourself getting whole, to start praising the fact that you are getting better, to start feeding your visual picture with love and encouragement. And then the next step of course would be to obey that practice, to obey that vision, to do everything that is possible to take the right steps in your life to start getting better. Start taking your medicine more regularly; start exercising, start doing such very simple things that will help you work towards victory.

Some people in our blessed families, many of them, some elderly members, are dealing with cancer. We get prayer requests all the time for them, for those families. It’s so important that we always remember that whenever we have a difficulty, particularly in an ailment, in our health, that we always keep our mind STRESS FREE. It is so important to keep our mind clear during those times of tribulation. Because we have to know that these things are not absolute; they’re not eternal; they are not unchanging. This is God (God is like this): God is absolute; He is eternal; He is unchanging; He is forever.

But these things, they come, and they can go, as long as we keep the right hope and the right perspective. Even, practically speaking, researchers tell us that even 64% of people who are sick with a really debilitating disease like cancer, can expect to live beyond 5 years. So it’s not the right habit to say, when we hear from the doctor a bad report, to say in our minds, “Okay, I’m going to pass tomorrow.”

We want to get out of that. It is so important to start remembering: “Wait a minute, God is in control. God is going to guide me; He is going to give me strength. My family is here; we’re going to make it through this.”

It is so important that in our lives we practice that faith, that love, and that obedience. When God is trying to say, “You’re going to get through this obstacle; I’m going to make you stronger through this,” (then) it’s important that we practice faith in that, the love in that, and the obedience to that.

Even when we look at the world religions – we know that True Parents come in the position to unite all the world religions, and we see that even in the Chinese tradition – I love this statement from the I CHING (the Book of Changes) that says that the only thing that does not change is change itself.

Everything else is constantly changing, just like the seasons. In the Biblical tradition we can see in Second Corinthians 4:18: “What is seen is temporary; it is only for a time, and what is unseen,” Paul says, “that is eternal.” In other words, what we are dealing with right now has a certain time frame. If we are able to work through it, if we are able to keep our attitude up and make sure that we are pressing through it, then God is going to help us, to lift us up to another level with that experience.

And when True Parents teach us, they teach us that God is absolute. They say that He is unchanging, that He is eternal and forever. And conversely, when we reverse that into our own situation, our own situations are changeable. Our own situations are not absolute. Our own situations are not eternal. So if we are dealing with a certain circumstance or a problem that is really weighing us down, let us start seeing it with those eyes. “You (the problem) will not be eternal, you will not be unchanging, you will change, and you are not absolute.”

It is so important that we start dialoguing in our minds. This is known as mental dialogue, in our hearts and in our minds. Whenever we are facing obstacles, it is so important that we start conversing with that obstacle, saying to that obstacle, “You are not absolute. You are not going to defeat me; I am going to overcome you.” It is so important to have courage in our own hearts and in our own minds when we are moving forward.

And let us always remember that victory can also somehow spoil us. When we get very victorious and succeed a lot, there is a tendency for people to become complacent. So it is always important, when we have victories, to celebrate them, to give glory back to God, but also then to move forward to the next victory.
This was the same issue with Joshua and Caleb. We know the old story from the book of Numbers, where the 12 spies were sent to Jericho to spy on the Promised Land.

As you recall, only Joshua and Caleb came back with a faithful report. From the Principle perspective, Moses was setting the foundation for the Messiah on the national level, and here it was based on Joshua’s and Caleb’s faithful reports that they could enter the Promised Land.

Remember when Moses struck the rock twice? God forbade him to enter into the Promised Land. But when Joshua and Caleb entered into the Promised Land with the younger Israelites, what happened? They became complacent. They thought that their final victory was entering into Canaan. They thought that was going to be their crowning moment, their biggest victory; (they thought) that God was planning (only) that victory for them. They didn’t realize that, as they entered into Canaan, that they had to build a sovereign nation, that they had to build a foundation for the Messiah to come
And because they didn’t do that, they fell faithless, and because they did that, the providence had to continue to move on.

So let us remember, even in our own lives, when we are dealing with moments when we are victorious, when we are entering into our own promised land, (let us remember) that God is preparing for us, that God requires us, that He is asking us to keep up the follow up, that He is asking us, “Don’t stop there; that is not all I intended for you. Even though I’ve given you the greatest Promised Land, the greatest victory I intend for you something even greater; I intend for you a greater foundation.”

So it is important to know in our hearts that just getting in, just having that one crowning victory, is not enough. We have to know that, as we move forward, God is going to continue to give us smaller victories, larger victories, and to continue to guide our steps.

Athletes and CEOs know that when they reach the top they have to be continually at their best. They have to be constantly working on their physical health and their mental strength; and they have to work on their endurance, etc.

It is the same in our own lives. When we do get successful in our careers, successful in our marriage, successful with our children, successful at school or at work, it is so important that we continue to realize that this one promotion is not the end of it all. You may have reached the Promised Land with this promotion, but let us remember that God wants you to build more. He wants you to sustain. He wants you to build a foundation for you as a national messiah, as a family messiah.
In the same way it is tempting to say in our hearts, “I reached the top, and now I can fail.” It is so tempting for us, when we do become victorious, to start getting worried, overly worried and almost become paralyzed , to start thinking in self-fulfilling prophecies, to start thinking, “Oh, my goodness, what if it doesn’t work out, what if it doesn’t happen as I intended?”

I heard about a young woman who read in the articles that researchers have shown that after you get married, about 3 years after marriage, that certain love chemicals start to fade. And so this young woman was really getting depressed. She was filled with anxiety. She was saying, “It’s my third year now, and what if my husband doesn’t love me; and what if our marriage collapses, and what if it starts going downhill? And I’m getting older and I’m getting wrinkles, etc.”
This is not the way to live our lives, brother and sisters. You have to know that God is planning great things for us. He is moving us step by step. True Parents have always shown us that in their lives. They have never stopped; they have always aimed for higher things.
In the same way, in our lives we have to know that even in our marriages the best time is not only the first 3 years, or the first 5 years, or whatever, it just gets better and better. If we can understand and accept that change is not always in the wrong direction, that many times change can be in the right direction, depending on our perspective, then we will see, that change in our relationships, in our careers, is for good.
We can see change as learning moments, developing moments, times when we are going to higher levels, to more maturity, more respect, etc. Let’s remember that in our lives, whatever our mind focuses on, we will find more of. If you see this picture, this is a picture that we prepared for you, a beautiful mother with her child. And then, what happens? The focus happens. Let us do the focus, my friends, closer please, and what happens?
So many women see one wrinkle, focus on that one wrinkle, and then start noticing a whole bunch of other wrinkles around the eyes, and a whole bunch of wrinkles all over the face. And what happens? You start finding more of what you’re seeing, of what you are focusing on.

In the same way in our own lives, when we start focusing on the things that are going wrong in our lives—just like those wrinkles—guess what? Yo’re gonna start seeing everything wrong about your kids, you’re gonna start seeing everything wrong about your spouse; you’re gonna start noticing everything wrong about your work place, or about your boss.

In the opposite framework, let us start focusing on the good things, the great things about our children, the potential inside. When they do something great, let us focus on that and make a big deal of great things, of small great things! Mother Theresa said, “In this world we can do no great things; but we can do small things with great LOVE.”
In the same way, let us focus on those very small moments with our children, the moments that you have with your spouse as Blessed Families. See those moments, focus on those beautiful moments and see them expand. Search and find more of those moments.
Whenever we are faced with an obstacle, let us learn from it and overcome it, but not dwell on it. Remember, the old saying goes, “You will dwell IN what you dwell ON.” And if we dwell on a wrinkle, we will dwell in the fact that we are consumed by finding wrinkles.

In the same way, if we dwell ON the fact that our life has inconveniences, which naturally happen in life, then we will start dwelling IN the fact that we have so many inconveniences.
When my brother passed, about 8 years ago, I remember, I was so angry. He passed away, and I was just blaming everybody. I was blaming the church, blaming the parents, blaming the members. It was everyone else’s fault. I was in such a bad state. I was very bitter, I was very resentful. I did not like the whole environment.
But at some point after he passed, after weeks went on like that – I was in my room and constantly focusing on those kinds of things – I realized, “You know what? No one is making me be bitter and angry; no one is forcing me to start blaming everyone else. No one is making me upset or angry.” And the more important thing was that my brother does not want me to live like this. He doesn’t want me to waste my life like this, constantly blaming other people, for other things, or constantly blaming the environment. In fact, Young Jin came to me in a dream, and he said, not verbally, but he told me in his heart, that he wanted me to move on. He wanted me to get on with my life.
That was the first time in my life when I started to have a real sort of relationship with him, when he was in the spirit world. He came and visited me all the time in my dreams. I remember, for the first time in my life, I began to take seriously praying and meditation, and the spiritual path. I really honestly believed before then — I grew up in a very religious home, in a very religious community — that (only) uneducated (people) follow religion. I thought, when I was very young, it’s all hokey pokey.

But after that point, I started gaining a new perspective. I said, “Wait a minute; it’s not that simple.” As I experienced life and death, as I experienced the passing of my brother, my own existence came into question
It was not all certain. And as I moved to Harvard Divinity School, I found these incredibly smart people. They were incredibly smart. They could speak 20 languages; they had master degrees in business; and here they were in the Divinity School studying religion. Here they were searching for their purpose in life. Here they were, searching in religion for meaning and answers.
And here was I, saying, “Wait a minute; I thought only uneducated people study religion and I’m surrounded by this group of people.” They were very bright, very brilliant, and they were studying (religion). I remember that moment, when I realized, “My God, it’s not that simple.” And I started re-examining our community, and I noticed that almost all the first generation that were entering into our movement, that were inspired by the Principle, so many of them were extremely educated people.

They were so successful in their lives; but there was something lacking in the spiritual realm.
In the same way, I started finding myself drawn to that, and I started practicing, in my own way, in my own self. As you may recall, I had a shaven head, and I prayed all the time and things like that.

I remember, one time, when we just had our daughter and just a couple of months after she was born…. (she was) so tiny. She had to be taken to the hospital, because they thought that she had tuberculosis. I remember seeing her lying there on that little hospital bed, with the wires all tied around her tiny little body. I could see my little baby girl. The nurse was asking us to pound on her chest with a pad to loosen the debris, so that she could cough it out.

I remember pounding on her chest with that pad, this tiny little baby; trying to save her life, trying to save this tiny precious being’s existence.
And I can remember myself just breaking down. I started breaking down. I could not stop crying for her. I could not stop praying for her. I kept on crying; and I kept on praying to God, “Please, God, bring her through this. She is so small, and she hasn’t done anything wrong. Please bring her through this.”

Now this was very interesting for someone who didn’t pray a lot; but all of a sudden, when I found my baby girl really suffering in the hospital, I found myself praying. I found myself asking God, “Please bring her through this.” And God did. He brought her through it. She’s healthy; she’s whole. She gives us so much joy.

But it’s so important in our lives to remember the great victories, when God did pull us through our past circumstances. It’s so important. When we focus on the obstacles in front of us, many times we forget that God brought us through many tribulations. He brought us through many victories. He saved our children many times. And it’s so important in our own lives, that we remember those moments, that we mark those moments in our heart, and recall the moments when God saved us, our children, and our families.
In the Buddhist tradition there is a story of the woman named Kissagakami. She was a woman who married into a very rich Brahman family, a very rich, high cast family. She married into that family, and her dreams were all coming true. She was so happy. Her whole future was set. Her whole family became rich; she was so elated with all that was happening. On top of that, she also had a beautiful young boy, who would then be the inheritor of her husband’s wealthy kingdom.

So all her dreams were coming to pass. She could see all the things lining up; all her victories were coming to pass; all the stars were lining up.
But one day, when the child was two years old; the child had an accident, and the child passed away. So she ran and held this child searching after every medicinal doctor around the area. She went to this doctor, and to that doctor. She asked, “Please revive my son. Can you revive my child?” The doctors said “No, we can’t do that.”
And she heard that there was an enlightened being in the forest. And she thought, “Maybe I should go see him. Maybe he can resurrect my child.”
She went to this being and asked him. It was the Buddha, and she asked him, “Buddha, please heal my child; please heal my baby.” And he said, “I will. I will do that. I have the power to do that. But let me first ask you to do something. First get me a mustard seed from a family who has not experienced death or suffering.”
And she went around, and said “That’s easy. I’ll gonna find that quickly, and I’ll gonna be able to quickly resurrect my child.”
And she went to this family, and she went to that home. She asked them, “Please, can you give me a mustard seed. You had nobody whom you lost from your house, right? Give me a mustard seed from your house. I take it back and revive my son.”
But then each house that she went to, all the families had lost somebody, each family they went to. One family lost an uncle, another family lost their children, another family lost their siblings in a fire; and so she went back to the sage, and she said, “I cannot find a house that did not have death or suffering.”
And from that moment she was enlightened. She realized, that, although she felt she was in suffering, (although) she had a situation that was very hard — when she looked around, when she noticed that all the other families, too, were dealing with death, with life and death, that they were dealing with suffering — then she re-evaluated her frame. She began to see her experience in a different light, in a different perspective. The story goes on to say that she became a great sage within that tradition, that she was able to overcome the suffering and become a great saint in that tradition.
In our own lives, it’s so important, because when we start dwelling on the enormity of our problems, sometimes we lose perspective, because we get emotionally caught up in the events. And it’s natural to be sucked up in that emotion and to sometimes feel how powerful that is. But it’s not good to get overwhelmed by the obstacles and the circumstances.
I was sent a beautiful set of pictures, and I’d like to share this with you. Whenever we start focusing on how huge our obstacle seems, let us remember this picture. See this picture! There is the Earth that is lined up with some of our planets: That’s Venus to the right of the Earth, that’s Mars, that’s Mercury, that’s Pluto. But watch this. Let’s compare the Earth to the size of some of our other larger planets in our Solar System.
In this next slide you will see that the earth is now down there, compared to Jupiter and Neptune. Do you see it? Now remember: On earth we’re that tiny little dot in the nation of Korea, in Seoul, and now look at the earth as compared to Jupiter and Saturn, and let’s continue this further. We will see in this next slide the sun compared to our earth, you will see that our earth is quite tiny compared to our sun, that’s our solar system’s sun. You can feel the heat from it whenever you go outside, you can feel our sun.
But let’s then compare our sun to another sun in the galaxy, and there’s our sun at the bottom; and you can notice Alturas, which is another sun in another galaxy. And now let’ compare Alturas, which is quite large, to another sun in another galaxy, and we can compare that to Anteras, which is the big thing over there, and look at Alturas, that small little thing, and look at our little sun way down there.
It gives you a little bit of perspective in our lives. So many times in our lives, we get to see our problems as so big, and we forget the enormity of the cosmos that we live in. We forget who created this entire cosmos, all these amazing galaxies, these huge stars that are billions of light years away. We forget that that is the exact same creator that is helping us through our day to day issues.
And let us always remember that in our life the perspective is our mental outlook over time. It’s how we see ourselves, our lives, in the process of time. And it is important to keep the right perspective in our lives. When we see ourselves over-dwelling on things that seem very big, let’s remember how small we are in that cosmos.
Remember, this is just a small bit of the cosmos, compared to what’s out there. Let us always remember how huge, how great, how awesome God is. When we do that, we can recall the times when He brought us through, when He allowed us to get through obstacles.
In my situation, that would be when He saved my little girl with that lung issue. It would be when my boy ran out in front of a car, in the middle of traffic, and almost got run over by a car. And God caused that car to move out of the way. It would be another time when I had kidney problems, and I was urinating blood; and God pulled me through it.
Those moments I mark in my mind. Whenever I want to start complaining about my situation, about how hard it is, any obstacle I am facing — whether it be in a relationship, wether it be in a situation, whether it be at work, anything that is bothering me — I will start remembering what God did for me. I will start recalling how God lifted me out of such situations. It’s important to do that in our own lives.

And let’s remember to practice the faith and love and obedience, the vision that God gives us, that vision that True Parents teach us, that Blessed Families, that True Parent, we will be victorious, we will be historical victors of this age; we will not fail at this time. As the HDH messages say, if we don’t do it, then even God will not be able to do it.
So it’s important that we know, that we have the confidence in ourselves to know that we will be able to do that. Let’s have faith in that vision that God has put in us; have faith in ourselves; let us love that vision, speak words of encouragement over that vision and act in obedience, so that we can act and improve every single day.
So, what can we learn today? It is so important to have the right perspective. All top athletes, all organizations know that with victories or defeats, you have to keep moving forward. You can’t get stuck in either victory or defeat.
And remember, like Joshua and Caleb, let us not believe that getting into the promised land is all that we need to do. Let us remember that when you have a great victory – let’s say, you get into that college that you were trying to get into, let’s say you got that job that you were trying to get, let’s say you got to work with that person that you wanted to work with – (then) let’s remember that that is just getting into the promised land.
Just like Joshua and Caleb, we have to CONTINUE to build, to have victory, to let God guide us, and to build that foundation. Let us remember, like Kissagakami, that suffering is pervasive. Everyone experiences life and death. For me that was such a freeing notion when I realized that I am not the only one suffering (from) the loss of a brother. There are so many families that lost their brothers. So many people have lost their parents.So many people have lost their children; and here I am, complaining that I have lost my brother, and using that as an excuse to live in defeat.
Instead of that, let’s change that around. Let’s start saying “We are gonna use that as a turning point in our lives and move forward; and God is going to guide our steps.” Let’s remember that if and when we do feel overwhelmed with our problems, we’ll send you the email with all these beautiful planets and all the stars; and let’s keep it in perspective.
You are, we are precious. True Parents tell us that we are more precious than all of that, all of that cosmos. So if God won’t even leave that cosmos alone, He will not leave us alone in our lives. Let us know that He will be guiding our steps, He will be pulling us through this victory, and He will be lifting us up.
So let’s remember to see with faith, let’s speak over our lives, speak over our children with love, with encouragement, and let’s obey that vision that God has put into you. Let’s act in obedience to that vision and let’s continue to improve, and continue to advance, continue to bring more glory and more victory to Him.
As we always like to say at the end of our service, let’s continue every week. We encourage you to have just a little more victory, just a little more illumination, just a little more peace. We don’t need to do it all at once; we can do it one step at a time. We can have just a little bit here, just a little bit there. We can start improving in our lives, just in small portions; and when we do that, we will start having larger victories. God will start preparing larger illuminations and fill us with more peace.

Brothers and sisters, can you accept this message today?
Yes!

Thank you so much.

We always like to give our last time to include all the brothers and sisters around the world, and also those who may be watching with us today.

Let us say a brief prayer:

True Parents, we are repenting for our wrong actions that we have done in the past, we pray that Father, you may fill us, that you may come into our midst; Father, that you may create our family as the palace of your peace, of your love, and of your lineage. Let us pray this simple prayer in the name of ……… Aju.

Brothers and sisters, if you pray this very simple prayer, we believe that you are now spiritually connected to True Parents, your family as well, your ancestors, your descendants. We believe that with all our heart, and we know that you are coming back home to your homeland and True Parents’ home.

Let us always keep them enthroned in our hearts. If we can do that, then we will rise up to more victory, more illumination, and more peace than we can absolutely imagine.

Transcription by: Annie Hapeman

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