Sermon: God's Invaluable Peace (January 12, 2008)

Reverend Hyung Jin Nim Sermon
January 12, 2008
Headquarter Church, Seoul Korea

Let’s remember that God has guided each and every one of you until this point (until this day). It’s important, of course, to know how far we have to go and to outline many times the goals we have to accomplish, but it’s equally important to acknowledge how far we’ve come and how many trials we’ve been through, how many challenges we’ve overcome.

Yeon Ah Nim’s Message:

We often heard how intense the early stage of our church (was). People literally threatened True Father and True Parents. At times our members even physically fought back to overcome the persecution. We Unificationists have overcome, have been through all these hardships as real issues (in real life).

However, when we think of our Church now, we face now bigger and invisible enemies that lie within us. The only one who prevents us from our God given gift is ourselves, when we think about it. Our God given gift is to be victorious, to illuminate this world and have peace in our hearts. I sometimes ask myself, “Am I really proud of being a Unificationist? Do I really have peace as Unificationist?” When somebody asked me, ‘What tradition are you from?’ Did I want to avoid that question? Or was I embarrassed to tell the truth?”

If I don’t have peace in my heart as Unificationist, if I don’t teach to have peace as Unificationist to our children, they also will not have peace in their hearts.

When True Parents were persecuted, they did not physically fight back, but they had peace in their hearts, they knew that they were good. Brothers and sisters, Blessed Families, we Unificationists are good people. That I firmly believe and we are blessed to know True Parents. From today let us choose to live the blessed life that True Parents blessed us to live and have peace in our hearts and peace in our minds. Aju.

Interesting Story by Rev. Hyung Jin Nim:

We like to start with something interesting. I heard this very interesting story about a Sunday School event. During Sunday School, the teacher asked the students, “Well, kids, so where is Jesus?” Some of the kids answered: “Jesus is in Heaven.” Another answered: “Jesus is in my heart.” Another answered: “Jesus is always with us at all times.” Another child, Joey, answered: “Jesus is in the bathroom.” The Sunday School teacher asked little Joey: “How do you know that Jesus is in the bathroom?” Joey answered: “Well, every day, every morning, my Father bangs on the bathroom door and says: “Jesus Christ… Are you still in there?” [Laughter]

Hyung Jin Nim’s Sermon:

Today I’d like to talk to you about God’s Invaluable Peace and how important it is to have peace in our lives. In order to live the blessed life it is so important that we are at peace with ourselves. Remember, in life there are always going to be inconveniences that we have to deal with. Life doesn’t always work out according to the way we plan. There are always some things that may aggravate us (make us upset), some people in our life that may really bother us. But in order to live a blessed life and if we truly want to live that kind of life, it’s important that we learn to secure and to protect the peace that we can have within our hearts. It’s so important that whenever we are tempted by somebody who is aggravating, or if somebody is trying to take away our peace, it’s important to keep that (peace) with you and not let that peace be stolen away.

The more you can hold on to (keep) your peace, the more you can move through obstacles, move through challenges with calmness, with peace of mind and with fortitude. It’s also important to know that God has a plan for our lives and that, when we look at ourselves, that we recognize that we are originals. We are totally original. We are totally unique. We are valuable, we are victorious, we have peace in our hearts.

In the Native American Tradition, there’s a story of two wolves that never die. And those two wolves are not somewhere else, but it is said that those two wolves live within every single person. Now remember, within the Native American Tradition wolves are sacred animals, they are holy. Many times they carry very important information, they carry secrets about the mystical nature, nature that surrounds the tribes, etc.

The story is, that we have two wolves within us and, whether we know it or not, we are feeding one of those wolves. One wolf is a selfish wolf and he wants to feed on our anger, he wants to feed on negativity. He wants to feed on revenge or jealousy, resentment, maybe spite. The other type of wolf that is within us is one that is fed by goodness, by compassion, love, mercy and forgiveness, patience, our own honour and our peace.

Whether or not we know, we are inadvertedly (if we want or not) feeding one of these wolves. And it’s important that we learn to feed the good one and learn to not feed the selfish wolf inside. The reason why is because in this tradition they say that these wolves can never die. But if the selfish wolf is fed too much it will overpower, it will injure the one that is good. And for that one to recuperate (recover) and heal will take a long process of recuperation (will take a long time). They said instead to learn to practice to feed the good wolf, the wolf that is fed by goodness, by acts of kindness, by compassion, by patience. When we do that, it is able to lead the other wolf. It is able to naturally subjugate the other wolf and that other wolf will then follow it in its tracks. Then those two wolves will be used or benefit to help to move our lives in the right direction.

When we look at the original meaning of peace… – of course you might have heard “shalom” in hebrew tradition – but really, the original meaning of peace is safety, welfare, prosperity. So when we have peace, in our own life, then it’s not just (not only) that we have calmness in our mind, it’s really that we are SAFE in ourselves. (Then) we have a certain safety in our minds, a certain protection around us and we feel safe in our minds and we know that we have plenty of wellbeing inside and that there’s prosperousness inside, that we are abundant in our life, that we are full of uniqueness and value. And we can continue to unfold and reveal all those precious treasures to those around us and for our own edification (for uplifting ourselves).

Let’s remember that God has guided each and every one of you until this point (until this day). It’s important, of course, to know how far we have to go and to outline many times the goals we have to accomplish, but it’s equally important to acknowledge how far we’ve come and how many trials we’ve been through, how many challenges we’ve overcome.

To give ourselves that credit is very important for improving that peace within ourselves. Let us feel safe and secure and know that we are original, that I am one of a kind (unique). Get into the habit of telling yourself that. When we wake up in the morning, and you see yourselves in the mirror, don’t say, “Oh my God, you gained 5 pounds. What’s wrong with you?” Don’t say that. Look at yourself and say, “You know, I’m original, I have unique value.”

Learn to get into a habit of seeing your victories, not your defeats, not your failures. Start seeing yourself in a different way. And let’s have welfare for ourselves (let’s not be too hard on ourselves). Let’s give ourselves a break sometimes (let us have a relax sometimes). Sometimes we’re overly critical with ourselves. Many times there are two modes (ways) that we operate in. To other people, we can be less critical, but to ourselves we can be sometimes overly critical. And that of course can impact and influence the level of peace that we have in our hearts. Have a prosperous mindset and know that we are precious and that we are prosperous in what we do.

Just a couple of years back, my wife told me that when she was in middle school she had a younger student (sitting) next to her. And – as my wife recalled – they took a test and this girl got 93 (out of 100) and she was so devastated, she was crying and said, “How can I get (only) 93, it’s terrible, it’s terrible, I came (only) on 2nd place. That other girl got 95.” And my wife was sitting there and said, “Honey, you’ve just got a 93, that’s not bad, that’s a quite good score.” She couldn’t understand her.

When this girl saw herself (looked at her situation), then instead of saying, “You know, I got a 93, I did pretty well, I got straight A this time,” instead of saying that, she immediately saw the other person, “Oh, she got 95.” And that stole her peace away in her mind. Instead of saying, “Hey, I did a great job this time. And if I want to get 95 next time, I can improve that next time, I can just do simply better on the next test”.

It’s so important – looking at this story of herself objectively – (to see that) 93 was a very good score and even though it is not 100, she could have given herself a break, she could have felt secure and safe in the person that she was. And really, there’s not a huge difference between 93 and 95. (She could have said), “This time I did 93 but next time, I’ll do better.”

It’s important, friends and brothers and sisters, that we don’t live like this. It is so important that we learn to give ourselves credit (appreciate ourselves) when we get the 93, and not look over our shoulder and see that another person got a 95 and then say, “Oh my goodness, how could that be?” That will steal our peace away.

It’s so important that we hold on to our peace. “You know what, I’ve got 95 this time !” I was used to say , “You know what, I got 62 this time but it is better than 60.” (Laugh) But don’t worry about it. When we are moving in the right direction, that’s the key, that’s the key. Make sure that you hold on to your peace and you don’t just give it away to people or situations.

When we look at the story of God, when He created Adam and Eve, and Adam and Eve fell, and God was very disappointed. He could have beaten Himself up, He could have said,”Oh, you you’re so dumb, why did you give them free will? That was a terrible decision. That was not wise. I thought you are omnipotent, I thought you know all things. And you could not see that come?” He could have started beating Himself up, look at the mirror and say, ” You are terrible, why did you make such a bad decision?”

But God had to have peace with that decision. He had to know that in the long run that was the right thing, to give the children the freedom to be able to move to Him in a way that they could naturally surrender to His love. And when He looked at humanity he had to say, “You know what, I’m good, I’m a good being, and these children are made in my image, so they are good. And I won’t give up on them. I’m gonna continue to move and I will not give up on these children.”

And He did that (followed that through). In the Principle it teaches us that God did that, that He had to maintain peace within the heart, and the restorational process began.

But there are many people that say, “You know, I would love to have peace, but these people, they aggravate me, they really bother me.” Or, ” My boss is always passing me over (does not pay me attention), he never gives me any credit”, or maybe, “My spouse is never sharing with me” or,” She doesn’t talk to me so much,” or,” My plans didn’t go as I planned, they didn’t come out as I want it.”

Too many people are living in that mindset. And even at the same time (they are) requesting (asking) God, “God, if you will change the people, if you will send my boss to a different company, or if you make my wife or my husband talk to me more, then I’ll have some peace in my heart.”

Brothers and sisters we cannot live that way. If we live that way, we will always be waiting for the circumstances to determine our level of peace and that’s not the right way. When we approach the situation, it’s important that in our hearts we learn to have peace, whether or not our plans work out the way we wanted, whether or not somebody will curse at me today, whether or not somebody calls me this or that today, that doesn’t matter, that bounces right off (does not affect) me. I have peace in my heart. If we can do that, then we can overcome challenges more quickly. And we can overcome obstacles more readily, we can gain insight more speedily (fast) as well. So let’s remember that God doesn’t change, He doesn’t solve our problems for us. God doesn’t eradicate our problems.

Remember Saint Paul in Corinthians. He didn’t ask God, “Take away my problems,”but he said, “Give me the strength, give me the courage to overcome these problems.” And it is the same way (with us). God doesn’t take away our problems. He is not gonna move our boss, He may not move that very aggravating (annoying) person that always gets on my nerves. He might not move that person at all. But it’s important that when we are walking through life, that we know that He is giving us the strength. Instead of taking away the problems He’s giving us the strength to move through them, the courage to be able to overcome them.

90% of all doctor’s visits are stress related. That means, in the modern day, more than cancer, more than etc etc, it is stress that is not only killing people but it is making them sick. It’s very important that in your life you know (how) to have peace as opposed to (instead of) stress. You know the feeling of constriction, the feeling of really being oppressed, don’t let any of these things steal your peace. Your peace is more valuable, is valuable to you, is valuable to your family, is valuable to God.

So let’s make the choice to choose in advance. Don’t start your day and then as you go along you say, “I haven’t peace.” As soon as you wake up make the commitment, make the declaration, announce to yourself, “You know what, I’m gonna have a great day. No matter what happens to me, no matter what situation hits me, no matter what circumstances I may run into, I’m going to have peace in my heart. I’m gonna move through this with calmness. I’m gonna move through this with maturity. I’m gonna be wise with my decision and God will give me the strength that I need this day.”

Let’s choose to start that process early, as soon as you wake up, in advance of our problems, not when our problem arises, and then saying, “Oh, I need peace in my heart.” No, no, let’s practice to start as soon as we get up. Let’s know that we will have the peace of mind to overcome any obstacle in our path, now and forever. That commitment, making this choice, is so important. That declaration that we make to ourselves is important, “I will be at peace, no matter what. At times it will be hard, at times there will be obstacles I have to face, there will be challenges that I have to overcome, but I will have peace. I commit myself to keeping my peace, not letting anybody steal that away from me.”

When I was young, we had an onni (elder sister) who took care of me, because our parents are away all the time. Her name is was Halanie. And she made quite a radical decision when I was young. She made the decision not to push me hard in school. And if you know, in our family we have a lot of high performing individuals. We have a lot of people who go to excellent schools, so the pressure in our family to do well in school was quite intense. My brother above me, he was always getting A’s in school. There was a pressure, we always had to do well at school.

But my onni made a very bold decision, “I am NOT gonna push this guy to study all day, to study until two in the morning, even though he’s (only) 8 years old. (I will not push him to) continue to go to hagwons (evening classes) and all of these kind of things.” She decided,” I want him to have a space, allow him to grow without that kind of pressure.”

She told me that at times (sometimes) she was doubting herself so heavily (strongly), “Why did I make that decision, look at him!” (She spoke like this) especially when I was not doing well at school. Oh she was totally stressing out, you know, and everybody around her said, “Look at you, you’re not raising him right.” In her mind she was saying, “What if it doesn’t happen, what if he fails? What if my theory does not pay out (work out), if he doesn’t come well out of school ?”

But she actively chose to remain at peace with her decision. She said, “Even though I’m encountering these circumstances, even though people are critizing me for making the choice to not want to push him in school, I’m gonna continue to keep my peace, I’m gonna continue to hold on to my peace.”

I remember, when I went back to EG (East Garden) this time – we went back to the (United) States when True Parents where there – I remember being in the kitchen and all the onnis where there, there were sisters who raised my sister and my other brothers, and they were all talking to my onni and they were telling her, how great a decision she had made. Well, these were the same people of course, who a couple years back were saying, “Oh, what a terrible decision!” But now they were telling her, “You made the right decision, it was good.”

And objectively I can say, “Hey, I got out of Harvard the most out of my family (compared with the others in my family). I can say, “Hey look, I’m not scared even if I didn’t do well at school. I still was able to do well in school later.” But because of her decision to allow me to have a little peace in that very intense circle, in that very intense kind of pressure, I believe that she allowed me to naturally find my own calling in school.

Of course I’m not encouraging you to tell your children not to study or just to abide into this principle (just to say like this), “You know what, ‘They don’t need to study’, he said during the sermon, ‘don’t push your kids to study.’ ” I’m not saying that. You have to understand our circumstances. We were in a very pressured environment. We had to perform and do well at school.

But in that environment my onni Halani, she gave me a space where I could just relax, take a break. When I was around her, she wasn’t nagging about doing (concerning) my homework. When I was around her I could just kind of hang out, just kind of chill out (relax) with her a little bit, just be at peace in her space (in the space she gave me). And because I had that little pocket of peace, because she allowed for space in that pressure, I believe that really helped me in my own life to find my own academic path, the place that I want to go.

This Monday evening, when I had dinner with a good friend of mine, he was telling me how he was such a terrible student. He is introduced to our tradition but he is not Unificationist. But he was telling me how, when he was young, he was just a bad student. He couldn’t get into college. He applied four times and he was dropped (rejected) four times. His mother, when he was in high school, she was so stressed. But my friend told me that, whenever he was at home, maybe he was just watching TV… he couldn’t get into college and now his mother could have been on his case (could have given him a hard time). She could have said, “What’s wrong with you, why are you so lazy? Why are you not making anything of your life?” She could have done that.

But he was telling me how his mother would just come back and he was there in front of TV, he was sleeping, and he was totally drooling and something like that, but she would just come and hug him and say, ” Son, I love you, I’m proud of you. You know, you are doing it. Most of the time you did the right thing.”

So she was speaking very gently, gave very peaceful encouragement. And he told me how at that time he didn’t understand this. He didn’t feel that this was doing anything (good). But when he became about 35, he went into acting (became actor). He went into acting, and now he is one of the top stars in Korea.

But he started very late. He started at 35. His mother had to wait literally 35 years for him to get into the right calling. But he told me how she was able to have peace, the whole peace in her heart, even though it was tough. He told me that many times the peace in her heart was, oh my goodness, was right about to come out (to get lost). She would hold him and say, “Son, I love you” and then she would go to the bathroom and he would hear the screaming in the bathroom. She would be screaming in the mirror, “My God what are You doing with this boy?” He would hear that kind of thing.

So he knew that she was stressed, but she always maintained her peace, especially when she was in front of him, and he told me how grateful he was to her for that. At that time it was so impossible. If HE would be in such a situation, he doesn’t know if he could do it. His mother, whenever she encouraged him, she did it with peace. And he said, that that really was the thing that helped him in his career of becoming a star. And I told him, “Hey look! Jesus was over 31, when he blossomed. The Buddha was 36, 35 is a good age.” I told him, “Don’t lose your hope, keep going.”

Peace in your heart has the potential to create safety. It has the potential to create wellbeing in your heart. It has the potential to create prosperity in your heart and also extends that to others. Peace in yourself and with people close to you allows for a feeling of trust to occur naturally, not by force, but it naturally subjugates those around you. Then your peace extends and expands and influences other people.

When people know that you are at peace with them even though they are disappointing you, that you continue to maintain peace with them, naturally, over time, then they are subjugated and naturally want to be in a position to bring you joy.

When I was at Harvard, my closest professor was Professor Jomelo. He was a scholar of East Asian Buddhism. He was an expert, he was recognized in this field. And I took a class with him at one time (once). I had a totally shaven head. I was wearing my robes and he thought I was a buddhist monk sitting in his class. He was teaching about Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, Korean Buddhism etc.

And I remember I wrote this one paper for him about the saint in the buddhist tradition and when I got it back it was a straight A, and it had a comment “brilliant” written right next to it. I had that framed on my wall …. I don’t, I don’t (Laugh). But I remember that comment and you know what? I was so pleased, “Yes I’m doing so well in this class”. At some point I had a chance to stop by in his office and I remember one time, when he asked me, “So you’re a monk? And what tradition are you from?” And I said, “Well I’m actually not a monk. And actually I have 5 children.”

And of course his jaw dropped (Laugh) and when I told him about who I was etc, immediately I could see his whole expression just totally changed. The person that was like my biggest fan and writing “brilliant” on my papers was now, literally, I felt, totally against me. He was totally opposed to me. So as soon as I wrote my next paper it was a C and I thought “Hey, wait a minute, that was pretty good, it was equal to that (previous) level.” “This is discrimination,” I was thinking in my heart. And I remember, I ended that semester with a B in his class.

But I had to keep my peace in my heart and, looking at myself, I had to remind myself, “I’m a good person, I’m not here to hurt any official, I’m not here to fool him. I am gonna have peace in myself.”

And there was one event when 15 monks of the Jogyo of the Korean Buddhism came to Harvard. They came for a visit and I was there and my other monk friend was there. He is a doctor student. And when they were greeting the monks and the monks were coming and when they found out who I was, they wanted to take pictures with me and something like that. And that professor was sitting there watching the scene of all these monks in the grey gray robes chasing after Rev. Moon’s son to take a picture. And he was sitting there completely baffled (surprised)at this situation. (little laugh) And I remember, how after that point, semester after semester, class after class, slowly something began to change, slowly our relationship became a lot better.

Over time, more and more, every time I went to visit him, every time I wrote another paper, it became better and better. And then when I ended my masters career in Harvard, I ended up with straight A in every single class that I took with him. But I remember that it was so important for myself to maintain peace in my heart. I could have said, “Professor Jomelo is racist, he doesn’t like me because I’m Asian” or maybe, “He is discriminating against a Unificationist because I’m from Unificationism” or, “He doesn’t like Rev. Moon, so maybe he’s discriminating.”

I could have made those judgements and this kind of condemnations. But I kept peace in my heart and said to myself, “One day he’s gonna know. One day we’ll gonna be friends. Even if I feel that negativity, I’m not gonna let it affect me. I’m gonna keep my peace. I’m not gonna let him steal my peace.”

And it was hard because I was very frustrated with him at times. But when I practiced, when I tried to intentionally (on purpose) make myself practice, “Have peace in your heart, don’t judge him, just have peace, it’s gonna get better.” When I was able to do that in the long run (for longer period of time), I was able to become one of his closest friends. He ended up being (In the end he was) my adviser and he really helped me along the way when I was in Harvard, really he helped me a lot.

If there’s anything that we can learn today then it is this: Peace in our life is so valuable, it is invaluable to your life. It’s so important that you don’t let other people steal your peace. It is so important that you know how to keep that peace within you. Even if people treat you bad, even if people are disappointing you, even if all the things seem like they are against you, it’s so important that you hold on to your peace that you have in your heart.

If you can do that you can be like God in the beginning. He knew in His heart “I’m a good being, I’m a good God. My creation is good. My children are good. I believe in them and I believe in myself. That’s why I will not give up on them.” Learn just like that. It’s important that we keep that peace in our heart. We know that we’re good people. Even though people may not understand our tradition we are good people. We are proud of it. When we look at ourselves we know with confidence that we can make a good impact on people’s lives.

So let’s have peace in our hearts. Let’s have peace in the decisions that we make and let’s see the decisions that we make as a process of continual improvement. We are improving. Everytime we make a decision we’re improving. Whether or not the decision becomes good or bad, the decision making process that you are involved in is making you a better decision maker.

So have peace in your heart. Don’t beat yourself up all the time over the wrong decisions of the past or 2007. See 2008 with fresh eyes. See yourself with a new vision and look at yourself as the victorious person that God sees. If we have peace in our heart, if we learn to feed members, learn to feed that good wolf inside then the other wolf will follow. And we can use the strength of those wolves inside to help us improve, to have victory in our lives.

When we see Father’s life course we see that, whenever he was persecuted, and at times (sometimes), you may recall – some of you were probably alive at that time when we were really persecuted – and it is as was my wife said, we don’t have those outside enemies anymore really attacking us. Remember, at the time when Kyle, my brothers and sisters, 1st generation, came joining our movement, they were physically assaulted (attacked) at times, and physically were challenged and these kind of things. Of course, (now) we don’t have these kind of enemies on the outside, but now the enemy is inside.

It’s so important to learn to protect ourselves, to know that we can keep that peace within ourselves with the people around us. Let’s remember, when my Father was persecuted, he always stayed at peace. He didn’t attack back. Father knew that the only way to change the enemy, the only way to change another person, was not by force, not by collision, but by natural subjugation, by keeping that peace in his heart and letting it extend, and creating that space. Then that person (the other person) can also be naturally subjugated and move to fulfill the dreams that God has placed within him..

So let’s keep the peace in our hearts. If we can do that until next week, continuously in our life, then – I believe – we will have more Victory, more Illumination, more Peace. Remember, it is important to know that we don’t have to get all done by next week. I don’t expect you to come in here completely perfect and floating on a cloud by next week. But remember, just a little bit, let’s have little more victory. Let’s protect our peace a little more. Let us be a little more illuminating to this world. If we can do that we will live that life of blessing that True Parents have blessed us to live.

Brothers and sisters if you can receive this, can you say AJU?

AJU!!! (by audience).

Thank you so much

Video of Sermon

Transcription by Lewis D. Gudmundsen

Edited by: Rev. Bruno Klotz

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