Managing your Blessed Life

Pres. Hyung Jim Nim’s Sermon
June 28th 2008, HQ Chungpadong, Seoul, Korea

You see, whatever we do, we have to realize that one of our main big rocks, the most magical rock, is to always have the rock of God and our True Parents in our lives. No matter what we do, whether or not it’s happiness, whether it’s getting ahead, education, whether it’s any of those things, if we don’t have that rock in our jar, as a partner, we will not be able to achieve lasting fulfillment in our lives.

Welcoming Message:

Yeon Ah Nim:

Good Afternoon! Nowadays the weather is so unpredictable. Sometimes it is very hot, sometimes it is very chilly and sometimes it is rainy like today, but even though it is so, what we are sure of is that the sun will rise tomorrow. I believe that our faith life is like that, too. Sometimes we have ups and sometimes we have downs, but what we are sure of is that when we truly devote ourselves in prayer and devote ourselves to a higher being, then our faith and our life will be better everyday.

Brothers and Sisters, we’re always praying for you and your family that your life will become brighter and brighter with each and every day. Brothers and Sisters, we’re always grateful and honored to have you all here in the sanctuary. And for those who are joining with us via internet, we’re also welcoming you all as well. Welcome, brothers and welcome sisters!

Hyung Jin Nim:

Welcome, brothers and sisters. I want to share with you from Cheon
Seong Gyeong page -oh, very very providential – page 2008. Amazing! I
didn’t recognize that when I picked it. Page 2008, “We long for the
nation of God, because it is a place of love. It is a place where,
instead of temporary love, eternal love that transcends time can
continually exist. It is also a place where you can elevate yourself
and be recognized for 100 percent of your value.”

Brothers and Sisters, I love that because when we’re seeing ourselves
everyday, when we are starting a new day, we have to open page 2008.
Remember, I’m gonna start with an elevated view. I’m gonna start with a
higher perspective of myself. I’m not gonna see myself like this, “I’m
not be able to make it” or, “I am not having a talent.” I’m gonna see
myself from the highest view point. I’m gonna see myself with an
elevated perspective. I’m gonna recognize the 100 percent value that I
have.

It’s so important to do that because in life we can get down. When we
head obstacles or face challenges, it is so easy to want to see our
weak points, to want to see why we are inadequate, why we can’t
overcome those challenges.

But I want to really ask you today to look at yourself in a whole
different light, to look at yourself not with your own eyes but to see
yourself with the perspective of Almighty God. When we do that we will
see ourselves with cosmic value, we’ll see ourselves with unique value,
divine value, with 100% of our value.

Please recognize this today, brothers and sisters. When we do that we
come into the presence of God and come into His sphere of love, we come
into His own perspective. When we do that we can elevate ourselves, we
can rise above any obstacles, we can overcome any challenge. It’s all
within us. When we begin the new day with that perspective you will
have more victory on that day, more illumination and more
peace.

Brothers and Sisters, every time we come up in the service, we’re not only here to watch service but were here to give worship. We’re here to attend the service, right? This is important. So I want to invite you all to participate today especially when we are having the praise and worship songs. These are not just very cool and nice songs to listen to. They’re testaments; they are declarations of our confidence. They are declarations of our pride in ourselves, in the person that God created us to be. It’s so important, when we are all here together in the room, that we’re able to give to God our best and really show Him that perspective.

And then what happens? Our weak starts in the right way, starts with the right perspective and right attitude, starts with us recognizing 100% of our value. When we do that I do believe your new week will be better. Your people will be kind to you. You will be better and the people, too.

Brothers and Sisters, when that happens (when we do that) it will have an effect and something will happen in your life. Day after day, day in and day out, as long as we keep that attitude, we’ll be able to overcome anything that comes up in our life.

Brothers and sisters, welcome once again to our service. We’re not only here to witness (to watch) but really attend and to really give worship today. I hope to include you all and invite you all to participate. Once again, welcome!

Interesting Story:

You know, before we start any kind of words here, we like to start with something a little interesting. I heard a very interesting story, it was about little Johnnie. And he went to Sunday school one day, and he heard the beautiful story about how God created Adam from the ground, and then He created Eve from a rib of Adam. Little Johnnie was fascinated by the story, and he just couldn’t get it out of his mind.

One day, during the week he had baseball practice, and somehow, just by unfortunate circumstances, he got hit with the baseball in his ribs. And he ended up having to go home, and his mom picked him up, and took him back. And she said, “Honey, how are you doing? That must really hurt.” And little Johnnie said, “Mommy, just like Adam, my rib is killing me. I think God is making me a wife.”

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 opened wide, and from this moment I change forever. In my name, Aju.

Main Sermon:

Brothers and sisters, I want to talk to you today about managing your blessed life. To live the blessed life, it is very important to understand how to manage your life. Everyone has a variety of goals, things they need to accomplish, and at the same time, everyone also has a limited amount of time to do that. Learning how to manage your life effectively, becomes one of the keys to being able to manifest your dreams that God has given to you and has planted in your heart.

But many people say “I don’t have enough time to accomplish my goals. If I had more time, I could be a little more successful with my children or a little more successful with my family. I could have done better maybe on that test, or that proposal, or at that business meeting, if I had just a little more time to prepare. But the key here is not to find more time – no one can do that – the key here is to make more time.

I heard a beautiful lecture given by a very famous time management coach. He was giving his presentation, and he pulled out (took) a little bucket, which he started to fill up with gravel (small stones). Then he invited one of the people to come up onto the stage. There was a lady who was a business professional. She was married, and she had children. She was very professional. She was a manager at a top firm. He asked her, “These little gravel stones in this bucket symbolize all the things in your life, all those little things that just add up, until one day you realize, ‘My God, I’m really overwhelmed. I’ve got too many things in my life.”

Then he said, “That’s not enough (not all). You also have bigger things in your life that you need to include. So here is the bucket filled with gravel, with just a little bit of space on top.” Then he pulled about 20 rocks (stones) up from the bottom, big rocks. And on top of them were little stickers that said “big opportunity”, or “vacation”, or “spouse”, or “family”, or “church and community”. These were very big stones that we need to include in our life. And so he said, “I want you to put these 20 rocks into your bucket of gravel.”

And so she stood there, a very professional, high achieving individual, very smart, out of business school, succeeding in her professional career. And here she is, trying to fit these big rocks into that bucket of gravel. She started doing it. She started putting in one, like “vacation”, and then she had to move maybe “family” a little to the left, and she was trying to squeeze everything in. Of course, she couldn’t do it. She had about 5 or 6 big rocks in there, and she said, “I can’t do it.” At some point, she tried to scoop up the gravel and move it to one side, so that maybe she could fit in some more rocks. But it just wasn’t working.

And then he said, “Why don’t you try a totally different way. Here I’ll give you a new bucket.” And he pulled out (gave her) a new bucket, and he said “Why don’t you start with a totally different paradigm (method), a totally different mind set? Start in the beginning with something new, something different.” And she said, “I’d like to put in the big rocks first.” She started putting the big rocks in: Community, faith, church, professional occupation, vacation, free time, kids, spouse. She put the big rocks in first, and then she took that bucket of gravel, and then poured it in.

What happened? It fit. Even though the big rocks were in there, the gravel fit in around them. It went all around the stones, eventually it filled it right to the top. But he wasn’t done yet (he continued). He pulled out a bucket of sand. He said, “I want you to put this bucket of sand in there, too.” And she poured it in, and she twisted the bucket around, making spaces between the little gravel, and the sand was squeezing in. And he said that wasn’t all. He said, “I want you to do a little more.” He pulled out a bucket of water. And there she is again, and then she slowly poured in the water, sifting the sand around, sifting the gravel around. She was able to put all of those things into her bucket!

What is the point here? He asked, “What am I trying to teach you today?” One student said, “The point is, that no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into your schedule.” But the man said, “No, no, no, I’m not trying to teach you that, I’m not trying to tell you to pack your schedule up, to squeeze things in.” He said, “The point is, that if you don’t put your big rocks in first, you won’t be able to get in the other stuff. The key is to learn how to identify the big rocks in your life. Whether they are work, whether they be family, whether they be spouse, whether they be getting ahead, whether they be education, whether they be dreams, or a worthy cause, like teaching, mentoring, etc., the key is to first be clear on your big rocks. And it’s so important that we learn how to do this, because if we don’t, we won’t be able to fit inside any of the gravel, any of the sand, any of that water, just like in that illustration.

But somebody might say, “I just can’t organize all the details to make space for myself.” Well, that’s exactly the point. We’re not supposed to organize all the details first, we’re supposed to first get in those big stones, get in the big rocks that you need to get done in your life. Then slowly you will sift, you will sort, so that the gravel and the sand and the water can start fitting in.

(Someone might say,)”But if I choose ‘family’, I can’t choose ‘work’, or if I choose ‘work’ then I can’t choose ‘church’ “. But it is not like that. You see, whatever we do, we have to realize that one of our main big rocks, the most magical rock, is to always have the rock of God and our True Parents in our lives. No matter what we do, whether or not it’s happiness, whether it’s getting ahead, education, whether it’s any of those things, if we don’t have that rock in our jar, as a partner, we will not be able to achieve lasting fulfillment in our lives. Some void (emptiness) will always be following us around.

There will be something in our hearts that we know we have to do at a greater level. We have to contribute to the community; we have to contribute to God and to the True Family. And so it’s so important that in our lives we include that biggest rock, that rock of God and True Parents, into our jar. And also the bigger rocks as well, family, happiness, education, helping another person, mentoring, etc., etc.

I was talking to a minister and his wife, and she said something just so right. We were talking about getting our things in life in order, how to really use our faith life, how to really actualize our faith life in the world. How do you work and do church at the same time? How do you live a good life and also are able to contribute and give back to your community, help your brothers and sisters?

And she said something that very much clarified something in my own mind. She helped me really clarify something in my own thinking. She said that there are three basic elements of faith. She always tells the people that she counsels and that she discusses with, that the most basic part of the unification practice, the most basic investment, that we make is: 1) We offer a part of our week to God; we go and celebrate True Parents, and we celebrate God. We commune with our community. We come together for service. That’s number one. 2) We invest in that community. We don’t only take from that community, we invest in that community. We do our practice of tithing. We do our practice of investing in that community, investing in our brothers and sisters, investing in God’s family. 3) We offer our vows. What does that mean? She explained, “We have pictures of True Parents in our homes, we carry them in our wallet, we make the connection, we make the partnership that True Parents and God are in our lives.”

She explained that to me, and it really clicked in my mind. What is the first stage of really making the commitment, of starting unification practice? She explained that it is these basic things. These are the basic things, the fundamental things. Anything, for example witnessing or fasting or spiritual practices, any of these things, have to come on the foundation of these most basic practices.

When I heard that, I realized, “Yeah! These things we can do in the world. Most people in other traditions do it as well. We (also) can do that. We can be part of our community, come to service, we can be supportive of our brothers and sisters, investing in the community, and also attending True Parents in our daily lives. And all that doesn’t prevent us from succeeding (in the world), that doesn’t take us out of our work place, that doesn’t mean that we have to become a minister and totally sacrifice our lives for True Parents. Of course, that is a choice for some people, but not for everybody.

And so there are stages in the Unification practice, stages in our faith. And as she was explaining, the most basic stage of our faith are those three things. Whenever we think about the big rocks in our family (movement), I also think about the family rock. Whenever we visit families during the week, we talk to the families about making a day for your children. This is such an important practice. We’ve been doing it for many years, every Tuesday. Since we came to Korea and started ministering, we had to do it on the weekend. Now the weekends are a little pre-occupied (busy); so we do it on Tuesday.

This Tuesday will maybe be my first boy’s day; not because it is his birthday, or because of some other event; no particular reason. Just because he is special, because he is my son. And so what we’ll do is we’ll just take him, and we’ll go out, wherever he wants to go. He loves (to eat) Ramyon. So we’ll go and get Ramyon. We’ll invest. We’ll talk with him. We’ll discuss things. We listen to what he has to say, to what is on his mind. We get to know him a little more, invest in that relationship.

Then what happens next? The next week, the next Tuesday, that’s my second boy’s day. And my second boy, when we go out, he really likes Jajangmyeon (noodle with black sauce on top), so we go out and get some Jajangmyeon. So we get some Jajangmyeon, we spend time with the kid, with our boy, we see what is unique in him, what kind of counselling he may need. And it’s a great time. We’ve found to be able to share our values, share our principles, and share how they can overcome their difficulties.

The next week, as you can imagine, it’s our girl’s day. It’s Kumi’s day; and so, we go out on a Tuesday. She really likes KFC; so we go to KFC on her day. So, this is what we do, the practice that we do. It’s such an easy thing to do, and I always encourage brothers and sisters, whenever we visit their families, to participate in this kind of practice, to take the child out, to take your children out for their own day; not because it’s their birthday; not because it;s some special thing, not because they passed a huge exame. Just because they are who they are.

It’s so important to do this, because, according to research, what are the memories that the children remember the most? Think about it, think about your parents. The memories with your parents that you remember the most, are not the memories with all your siblings around as well. You remember most the memories with your Parents when (only) you were there (with them), one on one, sharing something good, something sweet.

But unfortunately, what is the reality of people who spend time one on one with their kids? Many parents spend one on one time with their kids. They do do it, but what are they doing during that one on one time? They are getting angry, or they are nagging their kids, “Why can’t you do better? Why aren’t you doing this or that? You should have done better in school; what’s wrong with you, son? Do you have a brain disease?” Etc.

We don’t want to do that kind of one on one time with our children. If we do not watch ourselves we’ll spend most of the time nagging them to death; or telling them that they are inadequate; or that in some way they have to improve at school, in their studies, etc.

It’s so very important that we invest one on one with the children, in a positive way, in a way that gives them hope, that gives them confidence; so that they know that whatever situation (they are in), their Dad and Mom are there for them. So that they know they are special. So that they know that they are created to do great things in their life. We need to fill our children up with that kind of faith. We need to fill them up with that kind of one on one attention, that one on one care, that one on one kind of love.

Whenever we share this with brothers and sisters, with the wonderful families we visit, many times they say, “Oh, you know, I would love to do that, but I’m just so busy!” As you know, we go to Japan, and you know that they are very busy overthere, and they say, “We have no time; we have a totally sacrificial life. I have no time for my kids; I have no time to see the children. I come back at 2:00 in the morning, or sometimes I’m leaving in the morning at 6:00 and coming back at 1:00 am, etc.”

And, it is very funny, because even when I am in Japan, I ask the crowd many times, “Oh, by the way, did you see that show Chumung? In Korea it was very popular, a top show in Korea.” And all the Japanese sisters say, “Oh, I love that; it’s so funny.” I say, “Sisters, you have time, you have time. We have (at least) a little time. See, we’ve got time. We don’t think we have time. We say we don’t have time, but we end up watching Chumung!”

See, brothers and sisters, we have to know which rocks are important. What are the big rocks we are putting into our life? What are the rocks that you are placing into your jar? When you really want to live the blessed life it is so important to know clearly what kind of rocks you are putting into your jar. It’s so important! We love Sung In Gok and we love Chumung , etc., etc., but it is so important that we invest in our children. They are our future.

It is so important that we do those love investments that pass on through the generations. When you do this for your children that goes down to your grandchildren. They start doing it for their children. That goes down through the generations. The tradition continues. I always tell families, “Look, take one hour per week; just one hour; all you have to make is one hour for your child.”

Let’s say you’re so busy. Maybe you have absolutely no time to sleep, to eat or drink, or even to watch Chumung. Let’s say you’re totally busy. But we have appointments during the day; we meet people; so schedule it (the one hour for your child) into your appointments. Make it a one hour commitment to invest in true family building. Make a one hour commitment to be more effective. You may or may not have time to spend five hours at night; but make your time effective. Make it the most effective it can be. Make an investment in each one of your children. Each of them is unique, they are valuable and they are divinely connected.

Whenever we do this (visiting families), I say, “Look, when you spend time with your children, it’s your time to raise their faith up, to make them believe in themselves more, to share your values, your principles, your hope and dreams, why you joined the church, your story. All these things you can share with your children on your one on one. They don’t know us just because they were born from us. They need to get to know us, they need to get into a relationship with us. If they do that with their parents, they will believe in (future) relationships, they will believe in the strength and the stability that come from the real bed rock, the real rock, which is God and True Parents.

I heard an interesting story about a home owner who hired a carpenter to help him fix his farm house. The carpenter came, ready to fix the old farm house but nothing was going his way on that day (everything went wrong). He tried to start his car but he got a flat tire. He tried starting his electric saw but that did not work. And he tried to start his pick-up truck to pick up more cement, but his pick-up truck didn’t start. He was so humiliated and so embarrassed. And the home owner eventually (in the end) drove the carpenter back to his house.

The carpenter really felt defeated. He was really embarrassed. Here he was, trying to be professional, but he could not get any of his equipment work. Now the home owner had to drive him home. His client (customer) had to drive him home to his house! And there he was, quiet. He sat there (in the car) in totally stony silence, all the way home. And right before his house – they were both walking towards his house – the carpenter stopped by a tiny little tree. He stopped by the tree and put both his hands up and just touched the branches of that tree. The home owner made nothing out of it (did not notice anything special). They walked up to the house and something amazing happened. When the carpenter opened his door he underwent a tremendous transformation. That stony silent man, totally humiliated, totally defeated, everything not going his way, all of a sudden, when he opened that door, he had a smile on his face. The kids came running, he embraced them and he kissed his wife, “Hey, Honey, I am at home. Kids, I love you guys!” He was so happy.

The home owner was so confused and thought, “What happened? The last 30 minutes this man did not say even one word!” Soon the carpenter was walking with the home owner back to his car to say thank you for everything. And the home owner asked the carpenter, “What is it that happened to you, how come you changed so quickly? I don’t understand. What did you do with that tree? Is that some kind magical tree?” The carpenter said, “Oh, not at all. That’s my troubles tree. You see, I can’t help but (I can’t avoid) having troubles on the job. I get troubles all the time. I get things coming my way, challenges. My tools do not work sometimes. These are my troubles in my life. But those troubles don’t belong to my house, to my wife, to my children. And therefore every time when I come back at night, every time I come home, I hang up my troubles on my troubles tree, and I walk into the house with a fresh new perspective. I just hang them up at night and I pick them up in the morning. They don’t run away. But the funny thing is: When I pick them up in the morning there are less troubles than I remember hanging up the night before.”

See, brothers and sisters, it’s so important to be able to manage our rocks well, to manage our responsibilities well. We have a variety of rocks that we need to put in our jar to truly live the blessed life. It’s not only one rock. It’s many things that you have to juggle (balance). Its many things that I need to juggle, many things that we all have to juggle to truly live a blessed life. And one of the key there is to learn how to manage these things, to be effective at the work place, to hang up your troubles, to be effective at your home. That is so important in life.

This past week we had to go to Chungpyung one day, for Ahn Shil, and these days I have to pray in Korean. For me that’s a huge challenge. Not only do I have to pray in Korean but I have to pray in Korean in front of True Parents. That’s even more challenging! And so we went to Ahn Shil one day, 2am in the morning. We had a relative “short” Hoon dok Hae that day, just for about 5 hours! And we ended up coming back about 11’o clock. Then we had to run to the BFD Building for a meeting, all the decision making etc. And the meeting ended 8pm at night! And here I am, going home. I had an 18 hours day. I had lots of Hoon dok Hae that day. I had lots of meetings that day. It was really a long day!

And so we get home, eating dinner. And my kids were so happy; so delighted to see us. They don’t care whether we have 18 hours a day. They come and jump all over me and call me “Appa, Daddy, daddy!” My little boy is telling me, “Daddy, look I’m playing with my helicopter.” And I said, “Son, you’re doing a great job!” And he said, “Daddy, daddy, look, I’m playing with my police car.” And I said, “Son, that’s fantastic! You’re doing a great job!” And he said, “Daddy, daddy, I’m jumping up the couch.” And I said, “Son, you’re doing a great job!” Then my little daughter came and she said, ” Daddy, daddy, look, I’m doing ballet!” And I said, “You’re doing a great job! Beautiful!” And the other boy came and said, “Daddy, daddy, I had a great adventure today with the game and I beat this monster. I defeated this lizard monster! When you were young, did you find this lizard monster?” I said, “I did in some of those games.” And it went on and on. I was literally going insane!

I had a full 18 hours day. My head was about to explode. I had 5 kids hanging on me telling, “Daddy this, daddy that.” And then I remembered, “Hey, wait a minute, this is a big rock of mine. This is my big rock in my jar. This is a very important rock that I need to succeed with!”

And that time I remembered the story of the troubles tree that I was telling you today. Here I was, sitting on the floor with my kids, calling me daddy, daddy. And all of a sudden I just closed my eyes and I declared out loud, “I hang my troubles on my troubles tree! I hang my stress on my troubles tree!” And my kids all of a sudden (suddenly) were silent. Totally silent. Then they looked at me and said, “What’s wrong with him?” And all of a sudden they started laughing, burst out laughing. At first they were laughing at me but I stood up and started laughing with them. We were in total joy!

I was so stressed at that time. I wanted to say, “You’re crazy kids, go back to your room! Kids, could you be quiet!” All of this kind of stuff (I wanted to say). But I was happy. I hung up my troubles on my troubles tree.

We changed something that was explosive, something that was not healthy, into something that was wonderful to laugh about. In fact, the stress not only became something that was hung up, it became one of the things we could laugh about together as a family. When we did that, I declared to my wife that day, “Omma, you know what, I ‘m proud of my self. I hung my troubles on my troubles tree. And I succeeded; I was victorious with the kids!” And she said, “Appa, you were victorious and I will give you a high five!” and she said, “You go, daddy!”

Living life is such a miracle when were able to have these moments with the kids. I really invite you all to open your eyes sometimes. Look around with your kids (look at your kids), they’re such blessings. They’re so free, they’re so fun (give us much fun). All they want to do is to spend time with you. All they want to do is to have a good time, share a laugh (with you).

It’s so important to learn to manage those rocks well. We may do our work rock well; we may do other responsibilities well. We may do the education rock and invest a lot there. We may put a lot in the community rock or service rock. But let’s not forget our family rock. Let’s not forget the God (rock)and True Parents rock.

Brothers and sisters, what we can learn today? We must learn to manage our life if we truly want to live a blessed life. And let’s also remember that principle: Don’t start with the gravel, don’t start with the water, don’t start with the sand! Start with your big rocks first! Start with the things that you need to get in order first. Those things can be the big purposes that you need to accomplish in your life. If you can put those in first, then you can add the gravel, you can swift them around. You can modify, you can push them around, fit them in well. Then you can put the sand, then the water goes in etc.

When you come home from work, let’s remember our home responsibility. Our home rock is there as well. And let’s use that parable (with the troubles tree). I tried it. My kids thought just for a second that I’m crazy but they really enjoyed the troubles tree. And now, whenever I go back home, I always have a little pine tree to that I put two hands and say, “I’m hanging up my troubles on you, my friend. Hold them for the next day when I come and take them back, but make sure that at night you take some of them on the other side.”

Brothers and sisters, if we can manage our life, making time for yourself, making time for your purposes, making time for the big rocks in your life, you will find yourself with more victory, you will find yourself with more illumination, you will find yourself with more peace and live the blessed life that True Parents blessed you with.

Brothers and sisters, if you can receive this, please give a big round of applause to God and True Parents!

Transcribed by: Annie (Mary) Hapeman

Edited by: Rev. Bruno Klotz

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