Sermon: Leaving a Legacy in Our Lives

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Rev. Hyung Jin Nim’s Sermon, HQ Church, Cheongpadong, Seoul, March 29, 2008

In our lives, it is so key (so important) that we’re able to focus on purpose, and, on joy, and, on our strengths. These three things in combination are so essential to do.

Hyung Jin Nim’s Welcome Message:

Brothers and sisters, I would like to share with you from the Cheon Seong Gyeong?page 1294. Father says here, “The family is the point where God’s ideal can be manifested on earth, and where the happiness of humanity can be manifested on earth. It is the place where the work of humankind is finished and God’s work is completed.”

In our family we just experienced the ascension of our eldest brother Hyo Jin Hyung just a couple of days ago, as you all know. Really, we are so thankful for all the brothers and sisters around the world who are sending in their condolences and their support. We’re really so appreciative. We’re really getting so much strength from all our brothers and sisters out there, and I really feel that this was the case when he passed, and really, it’s part of his legacy that, I believe, he wants to leave with us on this earth.

You know that it’s so important that when we view (see) each other, especially in our families, that we realize how precious we are to each other?understanding (that we understand) the value of our children, of our parents, of our siblings. Any day, really, we can be called to heaven. But really while we are here, it’s so invaluable to be able to recognize the preciousness and the meaning and the incredible pricelessness of each person.

I’d really like to encourage you to see each other with those kinds of eyes and see particularly yourselves with those kinds of eyes and see yourself from God’s viewpoint. We can do that?I do believe. We will live our life, each day, with a new birth in our hearts. We will feel the freshness of life. We will see the miracles that are before us. We will really value each other so much more deeply.

Brothers and sisters, thanks so much for coming here. I really appreciate all of you?and once again, welcome!

Yeon Ah Nim’s Message:

We visited an African family’s (member’s) house. Even though the house wasn’t big, the house was full of warmth, creativity and love. We truly felt welcomed by these hosts. When we think about it, we could easily guess how difficult their lives must be?living in a foreign country, a foreign nation. However, in spite of the different culture, language and financial challenges they face, they always try to live their lives by practicing True Parents’ love toward people around them.

If someone asks me, “Who truly makes True Parents shine?” I believe that a family such as this, who never surrenders itself to its difficult circumstances, truly allows True Parents to shine greatly. When I saw this family and each family member’s love and devotion to True Parents, I truly realized that they are the ones who truly glorify True Parents. They never stop giving their goodness to people around them. They always seek to find the way to practice God’s and True Parents’ love.

Brothers and sisters, let us also become such a family. Let their example inspire us and let us be such a family to people around us. Brothers and sisters, we love you so much and we believe in you, as you know.

Hyung Jin Nim’s Interesting Story:

Before we start with the words, before I share some words, I always like to start with something a little interesting, with a fun?okay? I heard a nice story about a nice little boy whose name is Michael and he wasn’t doing the best in school. He was going to public school and his mom and dad met him one day and said, “Michael, you know what, we’re thinking that you should go to Catholic School for just a year and to see how you may be able to improve your scores (grades), and we hear that the nuns are better teachers there, etc.”

So Michael agreed and he went to the catholic school. The first semester passed and he brought his report card home and he showed it to his mom and dad and he was a straight A student. Mom and dad said, “Michael, how did you do it? Incredible! How did you get straight A’s? Are the nuns really that much better teachers? And he said, “Well, not really. But everywhere I went, I saw a man nailed to a cross and I realized that in a Catholic school?they mean business (you cannot fool them).” (Laughter)

Let us not just fulfill our purpose. Let us not just fulfill our joy. Let us not fulfill only our strengths. Those are all important pieces of the puzzle, but the key is: to blend them (balance them, combine them). The key is to make them overlap. The key is to find that center that overlaps,that little red flashing center, and keep that growing.

The True Parents’ Declaration:

These are my True Parents, the Eternal King and Queen of Peace, and Liberator of God’s Heart. They have saved me from my past. They have blessed my future, and they give me true love, forgiveness and happiness today and I choose to receive it! My mind is awake, my heart is open wide, and from this moment I change forever!
In my name, Aju!

Main Message (of Hyung Jin Nim):

Today I’d like to talk to you about “Leaving a Legacy in Our Lives.” When you look at the original Latin root word and etymology (meaning) of “legacy,” we see that it means something like “ambassador” or “envoy.” You can think of it as when we pass our (life-) stories on, the things that our legacies are built on, such as what people remember about us, what our children or disciples, our students, believe and practice in their lives, (such as) our messages that we leave in this world, our work that we leave in this world. All these things become our ambassadors. They become our envoys as we pass on (to spirit world), but our legacy remains.

And it is very tempting to say – because it is guaranteed that we all have to pass one day, because it is guaranteed that we have to go to the spirit world one day – it is really tempting to say, ” What’s the point? What’s the point of working or trying so hard? I might as well simply just enjoy myself in the short term (Why not simply enjoy life?)”

We can see two kinds of extremes here. There is an extreme of a hedonistic mindset where we say, “We’re going to die tomorrow, so I will enjoy everything I can enjoy today.” Or we can take a long term joy model where we say, “I will endure great suffering in my lifetime to enjoy the fruits in the afterlife. Or maybe not that long, but in five years, fifteen years, forty years we will find a prolonged, delayed joy. ”

But in my view, I really feel that it is so important to not go to either one of these great extremes; but, instead to really approach our lives of blessing with a more holistic approach; and that means that we include both in our lives, short term happiness and long term happiness.

It is very important that we learn to live our optimal lives, to be the greatest blessings during our lifetime. Father has taught us that we take the goodness, the maturity, the blessings that we earn through our merit (effort), that we accummulate on this earth, (that we take that) to the spirit world. So, when we pass ( to the spirit world), we will be of greater benefit to those even in the spirit world, (just) as when we are on earth, we will be of great benefit to people on earth.

So, it is very important to really view our lives as really that precious, (to see) that we can make a tremendous difference. (It is very important,) particularly in this time where our family is really reflecting on the impermanence of life and on how precious life really is (He refers to Hyo Jin Nim’s passing).

Think about it for your own life. What are your purposes? What brings you meaning in your life? What brings you a sense of a truly fulfilled life? What are your joys? What are your hobbies? It could be cooking. It could be machine work. It could be anything. All those we can include. What are your strengths? The key is now, to see where they connect.

When I look at the traditon of Asian medicine, there is the basic philosophy that in order to solve a particular ailment (sickness), you must not attack the symptom but you must solve (the problem at) the root. You must look at it holistically (from all aspects). For example, instead of prescribing medicine for a cold or even a tummy ache, what many Asian medicine doctors will do is prescribe good healthy habits.

I haven’t seen it so much in Korea. But particularly in the Chinese traditions we’ve seen that in a lot of prescriptions, for example: Diet, modifying your diet, practicing chi do or tai chi, exercising, strengthening your base and your bones and your muscles and tendons. Other prescriptions, for example, would be: practice meditation in order to complement (connect) both aspects of your health, body as well as mind.

And so, I believe, it’s the same way when we look at our blessed life. It’s not enough to just look at one aspect of our lives and try to succeed there, but (we need) to really view it holistically and access and work on it as such (work to improve our lives in this way).

But how do we do that? When we look at when God originally started, when He set out upon (started) His mission, He began with purpose. He began with the purpose of creation and He also incorporated His joys. He enjoyed and He wanted to have joy with His children.

I believe He really enjoyed creating the environment and the garden for His children to play in, to nourish them, to bring them to fruition and joy. And He focused on His strengths: on creating, on practicing true love, which is really living and creating for the sake of His children. So, He was focusing on those three aspects (purpose, joy and strengths) and that is what I want to focus on today.

In our lives, it is so key (so important) that we’re able to focus on purpose, on joy and on our strengths. These three things in combination are so essential to do. Let’s look at this slide. My sister did a very interesting exercise with me and I would like to share it with you.

It really is a simple rubric. If you want to live a more blessed life, the key is to identify what really brings meaning to your life: Your purpose in life. Another key is also: what brings you joy in your life, because without that, life can really feel mundane and not worth living. Another, the third key is: to identify your strengths in your life, strengths that God has given you in particular, that you can utilize, that you can be the best in the world at. Now, the key here is not necessarily each part in itself?but how they overlap. That’s the key.

You see the red portion right in the middle that overlaps with all three aspects? See this central key area that’s blinking in red, that’s our key. As we expand that key area, as we expand that center, our lives become more and more blessed.

Let’s take a look at this! If we only focus on these separately, if we focus, for example, simply on joys, we can fall into hedonism and simply live for pleasure–fleeting pleasure and this eventually is not satisfying. It leads to dissatisfaction and in the long run it leads to a lack of meaning in our lives.

And so next, let’s focus exclusively now on purpose. If we only have purpose, at times we can feel very unenriched. We can feel mechanical. We can feel as if we don’t have enough joy in our lives, and we can feel as if we’re sacrificing our lives away. And this inevitably, again, leads to resentment. It’s almost inevitable that it will turn to such.

If we only focus on our strengths and do what we’re good at, not connected to purpose or joy, we can be simply building our own egos. So, the key here is to be able to balance these three pieces, so that you’re able to overlap them and have that central overlapping point expand and grow bigger.

I’ll give you an example. This is one of the things that I did. I did it very briefly. I made a list very briefly. I didn’t reflect for twenty years and then write this down. I just did it very quickly right off the top of my head. So, when I looked at my life, what brings me purpose?

I don’t know if you can read it, but I can share with you a couple of things. Some things are bringing me meaning in life. Some things are bringing me a sense of value, a sense of purpose in my life. Glorifying our True Parents would be one of them. Creating a healthier, stronger church, that would also bring value and meaning to my life.

It really is a simple rubric. If you want to live a more blessed life, the key is to identify what really brings meaning to your life: Your purpose in life. Another key is also: what brings you joy in your life, because without that, life can really feel mundane and not worth living. Another, the third key is: to identify your strengths in your life, strengths that God has given you in particular, that you can utilize, that you can be the best in the world at. Now, the key here is not necessarily each part in itself but how they overlap. That’s the key.

My family brings me value, meaning and purpose to my life. Being happier in myself individually and also helping others be happier, I find great purpose in that task as well.

Let’s move to joy. Some of my joys would be spending time with my family, bringing joy to True Parents, training, playing with my kids, tea ceremony. Training?I love that. Meditation?I love meditation. Art of sword training. I love tai chi chuan. Other martial arts exercise, I really enjoy that. Asian garden designing, can’t throw that out. Asian garden designing, I love that.

Reading, teaching, studying ancient languages. I like the art of brush writing, nature walking, walking the dogs, etc. So you can see just some examples of some of my own personal joys in that I really find a tremendous sense of pleasure when I do such activities when I participate in such activities.

And next are my strengths. And these are not strengths when you do this for yourself. Everybody doesn’t have to agree on what your strengths are. It’s how you view yourself. What are my strengths? When I view myself, what are my strengths?

I think some of my strengths would be: I’m flexible. I have some flexibility. I’m good with human relationships. I can do questions and answering. I believe one of my strengths also is commitment. I’m committed. And also I can listen.

I want to stop here so we don’t continue, but these are some basic things: My purpose, what brings me meaning in my life, what brings me joy in my life, and also what are my strengths.

And I really would encourage all of you to jot these down (write these down from your own life). Think about it for your own life. What are your purposes? What brings you meaning in your life? What brings you a sense of a truly fulfilled life? What are your joys? What are your hobbies? It could be cooking. It could be machine work. It could be anything. All those we can include. What are your strengths? The key is now, to see where they connect.

So what I did is – you see the red-highlighted things – (is to find) the places where they connect. So, for example, creating a stronger church, which would be in my (part of my) purpose, or my family which is also a part of my purpose; and then, it is my joy to spend time with my family, or building relationships in church. I do that many times through a tea ceremony with guests that I invite in, etc.

And I think that’s also connected to my strengths in human relationships, in listening and in being committed to my work, etc. So I can see there’s synergy (balance) there. There’s synergy between purpose, joy and strengths.

But there were some imbalances in my life. There were some imbalances. There were things where I was not incorporating (including) enough of all three of the aspects and so I did feel like something missing, something not particularly there.

So what did I do? When I made the list, I looked at some of the things that are in black. My joys: My art of sword training, my tai chi, my martial arts training, asian gardening. It’s all out. I don’t do it anymore–so I really feel something is missing, art of brush, nature walking, etc., things like that.

So what did I do? I started looking at those things, started seeing where I was lacking and started to bring them (the lacking things) back into my daily routine. And so, for example, what I did was, when I go to Japan….. we travel there for a week and we have a very, very rigorous schedule, from 2:30 in the morning all the way until usually around 10 at night. So it’s very intense, we’re moving between churches, etc. It’s a very intense schedule.

So I was getting really drained (exhausted) during the day. I had to give sermons, we were doing meditation, we were doing prayers, we were doing all sorts of things, family visits and all sorts of things and I was getting so exhausted; and I needed something that would help me rejuvenate my chi energy get my energy moving again.

And so what I did, I actually brought one of my wooden practice swords along with me. So there I am in the church, in my room, practicing, gathering my chi, collecting my chi because that’s one of my joys, really practicing, training myself, mind and body.

I felt that really gave me so much more strength. I felt that I could go on much longer. And I wasn’t as exhausted as quickly and it was curing my loss of energy while on this rigorous schedule.

And in some other parts of my life, I began to start gardening at Han Nam Dong, the training center we have there. I started arranging rocks. I started putting stone lanterns here and there, so that I felt more connectedness to nature, more contact with the natural world, in my own joy of Asian gardening. So I brought that back into my life.

I started tai chi training every morning once again. I started doing my tai chi again. I started moving that chi energy once again. That helped me cure my backaches, and now I even do it with my wife we’re doing tai chi together so that in this way it can be not only my own joy, but something that I am sharing with another person.

I started to walk in nature once again after lunch here during the week. We go up to the local park up here, take a nice little walk around the area, see the beautiful ponds, etc. And it really made a huge difference, very practically it made an enormous difference. I really felt much more fulfilled because I was connecting my joys back into my strengths and into my purpose.

So what can we learn today? Our blessed life that we will live becomes a legacy, our lives become legacies. They become legacies that inspire the future generations, they become legacies that inspire people that are living with us today. Also, our level of maturity and goodness in the physical world?we take that to the Spirit World.

So it is important to keep improving that everyday; and I would really recommend, if there are any teachers here, do it with your students, do it for yourself. Outline (write down) your purpose, your joys, your strengths. See where they are overlapping. Try to make the portions, where they overlap, greater.

Remember, one of the things, one of the keys was for example: I particularly enjoy martial arts training and so what I did was, I connected that to one of my purposes which is my family.

So last night, I was playing with my boys and also my cousins – Hyo Jin Hyung’s children are now living with us – so I was playing with all my cousins. About ten kids were running around and they were all like beating me up (Laughing). It was a fantastic time. I have my joy of doing martial arts and also it is connected to family and also to building relationships, which is one of my strengths, as I see it.

So, when we connect our things back, when we start filling the things back that are missing, remember, do it the right way. For example, in my life, if I just started martial arts training again, without connecting it to my purpose or my strengths, I would feel within a quick period of time, “Oh, this is tiring. It becomes work.”

But instead of that, if we connect that to purpose like building good relationships with the family, if we connect it with (our) strengths in (building) personal relationships, if we connect it there, then it has a purpose, it creates joy and has incorporated (included) my strengths.

So, let us not fulfill just one of these keys. Let us not just fulfill our purpose. Let us not just fulfill our joy. Let us not fulfill only our strengths. Those are all important pieces of the puzzle, but the key is: to blend them (balance them, combine them). The key is to make them overlap. The key is to find that center that overlaps, that little red flashing center and keep that growing.

If we do that, our lives will become more and more blessed and we will live that life of blessing that our True Parents have blessed us to live. We will have more victory, more illumination and more peace.

Brothers and sisters, can you receive this offering today? Thank you so much.
Let us now take the time to once again return to True Parents. Let us gather our hearts.

Hyung Jin Nim prays:

“Father, we thank you for this day that you have blessed upon us. We pray that we may truly become the palace of Your peace, Your love and of Your lineage. Father, we want to, at this point, we want to repent for any of the wrongdoings that we have done in the past and we pray that we will move forward with strength, vitality and wisdom. Father, we thank you and we know that You are leading our paths and we are trusting in You. We pray these things in our names. AJU!”

I’d really like to encourage you to see each other with those kinds of eyes and see particularly yourselves with those kinds of eyes and see yourself from God’s viewpoint. We can do that?I do believe. We will live our life, each day, with a new birth in our hearts. We will feel the freshness of life. We will see the miracles that are before us. We will really value each other so much more deeply.

Hyung Jin Nim’s concluding words:

If we do that, brothers and sisters, if we always keep True Parents in our hearts, if we always keep that true love flowing, if we always keep our purpose, our joys and our strengths combined, moving together, we will have more victory, more illumination and more peace than we can ever possibly imagine.

Trancribed by: Cathy Quebral

Edited by: Susan Herman

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