Sermon: Being a Hero every Day

July 19 2008, ChongPa Dong, Seoul, Korea

Brothers and sisters, today I’d like to talk to you about being a hero every day. If we are to live the blessed life, then we must be heroic in our day to day lives. See, God never created us to be ordinary people, just normal people, or people (just) living through this world. ( He created us to truly be extraordinary in our lives. And if we think that we’re worth nothing or that we have no special talent, then we are already taking our potential away, we’re already stealing that heroic destiny away.

Welcoming Remarks:

Yeon Ah Nim:

Good afternoon brothers and sisters! (Good afternoon!)

Outside it is raining today. The soothing sound of the rain really refreshes our hearts and our minds. We are always happy to welcome you in this sanctuary, and for those who are joining with us via internet we are welcoming you as well.

Welcome sisters and welcome brothers!

Hyung Jin Nim:

Brothers and sisters, welcome today!

I want to read from the Cheon Seong Gyeong, and I want to share with you from page 326. Father says here, “Since we are born of love, it follows that we must walk the path of love, and ultimately pass to the spiritual world for love.”

Brothers and sisters, True Father teaches us that when we look at our lives and we see how much preciousness we can bring to this world, it starts even before we are born. And so in our lives, in our actions, in our thoughts, in the words that we share with others, it is so important to exude (let shine) these qualities, the quality of love, caring, looking towards another, helping a friend in need. These many, many qualities that True Father teaches us really allow us to be able to share our hearts and uplift others who are around us.

Brothers and sisters whenever we come to service, I always want to remind you guys that we are not out here just to observe service. I really want to invite you to participate, to sing the songs of worship, to pray whenever we’re praying together, to join into the celebration of the worship service.

Brothers and sisters it’s always such to joy to see you guys here, and one thing we must always remember whenever we start the new week, is this: We have to start with the right perspective. That perspective is seeing ourselves not necessarily from our own viewpoint, but seeing ourselves from the highest perspective, the most glorious perspective, that is God’s perspective. When we see ourselves in that perspective, we will see somebody (ourselves) with value, we will see somebody with unique, absolute, unchanging, eternal, cosmic value. When we see ourselves in that light, then we may have ups and downs in the day during the week, but we can always come back to that assurance that we have value in our lives, that we (can) contribute, that we will be a blessing to this world.

Brothers and sisters, it’s so important that we start the new week with that. Maybe you had something in the last week that didn’t go totally according to plan. I want to invite you to just let that go, and we want to start this new week with a new vision for your life, a new perspective for this new coming week, and every week we want to keep growing, every week we’re going to have more VIP in our lives, more victory, more illumination and more peace. We’re going to share and spread that blessing to people around us.

Thank you so much, brothers and sisters for coming, and once again, it’s a great Saturday and we’re not here only to observe but let’s participate and have a great worship service. Once again welcome!

Yeon Ah Nim’s Words:

My husband and I had an interview from a magazine. In Korea we already have done dozens of interviews. Usually one or two people came to do the interview. But this time five people came to interview us about our ministry. And as they came in they told us that two of the people actually flew in from Japan to meet us. So I was a little bit surprised. We didn’t know that we are that famous (applause). So I was kind of surprised. Japan has far different circumstances than Korea.

There is more persecution in general. So I was kind of nervous and worried about what kind of questions would be asked .
About an hour later one lady who flew in from Japan to meet us, that lady showed us a white note pad that she usually carries around, and on the note pad, there was a Unification Church sign and inside the note pad there was True Parents’ picture. So I was really puzzled. I thought she came here to really interrogate us, but here she is with a Unification Church note pad and True Parents’ picture. I was so confused. She finally told us that she is of course a reporter from this magazine, but at the same time she is a Korean language teacher in Japan. She said, apparently 90% of her students are our church members. And she said they are such wonderful children. And she said they always talk about True Parents and our ministry.

Brothers and sisters, we can easily think that our community is separated from society, but we are living in society. So when our children have a strong faith and become successful in society, that glory will eventually and ultimately be returned to Heavenly Father and True Parents.

Brothers and sisters, we love you so much and we believe in you. Aju!

Hyung Jin Nim’s Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for this day that You have blessed upon us. Father, on this summer day we can hear the sound of the beautiful rain outside. But Father, inside our hearts there is sunshine. Father, inside our hearts we are being refreshed by your soothing rain. Father, thank You so much for bringing us together from all different nations, Father, gathering together as one family here. Father, what a special sight! What an amazing occasion to be here together on such a day. Father we are celebrating You on this beautiful Saturday. It is the beginning of our week spiritually here. Father, we pray that You may fill us with Your strength, that You may fill us with Your perseverance, that You may fill us with Your victory, Father. And as we leave this place, Father, we pray that this new coming week we will have more victory, more illumination, Father, that we will make more peace in our lives.

Father, let us not stop there but truly be a blessing to this world. We are praying for all those blessings to blessed central families who are scattered across this world, Father, in every single nation. Father, Your seeds of hope, Your seeds of heart, Your seeds of love are taking root in every nation, Father.

Thank You so much for this day. Thank You for bringing us together. And Father, we pray with an everlasting and overflowing love, and we thank You so much for this time together.

Praying in our names, as blessed central families, Aju

Hyung Jin Nim’s interesting story:

Thank you so much. Please be seated. If you can be seated, pleased be seated.
Brothers and sisters, every time we’d like to start, before our service, with a little interesting story. And I heard a little story about little Alex. He was sitting out in the school yard one day, and he was exclaiming in his big voice, holding a Bible, “Praise be to God! Praise be to God!”

His teacher came on and said, “Hey Alex, what are you doing out here?” and he said, ” I’m praising God!” and he said, “But why are you praising God?” Alex said, “Well you know, God split open the Red Sea, and Moses passed through the whole Red Sea.”
And the teacher said, “Ah! Well, you know, Alex, actually if you look at science, in parts of the Red Sea it’s only about ten inches deep, and in low tide, the waters go away and you can actually walk across the Red Sea. It’s not really a big miracle like the Bible says, it’s just pure science.” Alex heard that, and he had a little doubt in his eyes, and he hung his head down low, and all of a sudden his eyes widened, and he opened up and said, “Praise be to God! God is great!” The teacher saw this and said, “Alex you just heard my science, why are you praising God?” And he said, “God drowned the Egyptians in ten inches of water!!!!”

Hyung Jin Nim’s Sermon:

Brothers and sisters, today I’d like to talk to you about being a hero every day. If we are to live the blessed life, then we must be heroic in our day to day lives. See, God never created us to be ordinary people, just normal people, or people (just) living through this world. ( He created us to truly be extraordinary in our lives. And if we think that we’re worth nothing or that we have no special talent, then we are already taking our potential away, we’re already stealing that heroic destiny away.
It’s so important that we must choose to have heroic thoughts in our minds. We must choose to be a hero every day. If we do that, (if) we understand that it is a choice to live heroically every day, then we will find ourselves with more VIP. It’s so easy -maybe when we look at ourself in the mirror – to say, “I am not a hero. Maybe Moses (was a hero) or I’ve heard stories of Hercules or Superman, or, you know, Jesus, these big figures, True Parents. These people are heroes. I’m no hero! There’s no way I can be compared to them.”

In 1949 a famous scholar named Joseph Campbell wrote a book called, “The hero with a thousand faces.” He talked about something called a mono-myth in this work (book). He basically looked at many many cultures and saw that the hero stories of all these different cultures tended to fit a certain pattern. He outlined and delineated (he figured out) a five step pattern of the hero


He said, that in the first part the hero is called to an adventure. The hero is a normal person. He does not know that he has anything special. We can see this in the Lord of the Rings. You may see up there (on the screen). Frodo Baggins, just a plain old Hobit, doing his own farming, doing his own thing, nothing special, just an ordinary hobit person. But he is called to that adventure.

At first he may reject that adventure. At first he may say, “I can’t do it. It’s too big. I’m not fit for that role.” But he pursues and takes on the role towards the adventure.

The second part that Campbell outlined is that there’s a road of trials. Every hero must face the road of trials. Every hero must go through bitterness, challenges, obstacles. They must overcome those things.

The third part of the hero is achieving the victory, the goal or what he called the boon (blessing). Understanding the great victory, the enlightenment, obtaining the special item like in this movie, the hero eventually (in the end) overcomes and is victorious.

But that’s not the end. The hero then, in the fourth step, returns to the ordinary world, back to his hometown. And here we see Frodo returning to his home. He’s a huge hero. He just saved the world, but he comes back, and he’s just normal Frodo, back to his ordinary place.

Number five, he comes back into the ordinary world and shares the boon. He shares the victory, he shares the enlightenment, he shares the experience, he shares the wisdom.
The hero begins as an ordinary looking person, nothing special about him! He’s called to adventure, he “missions” (does missions), he goes forth. He goes through the troubles and trials. And as the hero’s failing so many times, the hero questions himself. He questions and doubts himself, “I can’t do this. I’m not big enough for this task. I’m not the person for this. They chose the wrong one. I can’t save this world.” He continually doubts himself. But in the story, as you saw on the third part, he is successful.

But notice, I want you to notice that the hero is never successful from the beginning. Never! The hero has to endure hardships. He has to pass through the challenges to achieve the victory in the third step. Let us realize that the hero also may doubt himself at times (sometimes), but he will never give up on himself.

In the same way, even in our lives, if it is true that we are to be heroic in our destinies, then we must realize that we may not be instantly successful at whatever we put our mind to (at whatever we want to do). We may not have instant victory. There may be trials and tribulations that we may have to overcome to obtain that boon. But let us remember that even though we may doubt ourselves, let us never, ever give up on ourselves. God is cheering for us to be a hero in our every day lives.

In Zen Buddhism, there is a story which is called, “The 12 bulls.” It’s a very important story in that tradition, very important. It outlines the natural course of a seeker’s path. And in the story, there is a seeker. He wants to obtain a great wisdom, a great boon, a great victory. He goes forth. He hears of a mystical bull that is out there, something that he can catch and obtain. He goes forth, and he notices these footprints in the sand. He notices, as he seeks more and more, that the footprints spread. There are not only footprints on the ground, there are footprints on the trees. There are footprints in the sky. There are footprints on the clouds, and as he looks in the mirror, there are footprints on himself.

And then all of a sudden, the seeker gets a glimpse of that bull. He sees it for the first time, but it quickly disappears. Once again, he tries to search and sees it again, eventually being able to capture it. He throws a noose around, captures it and he has to wrestle it, he has to tame it, he has to fight it for it to come down. Then he’s able to control it. He’s able to ride on the bull.
But then something very interesting happens. All of a sudden, as he’s riding on the bull, playing his flute, immediately, the huge, magical bull completely vanishes, disappears under him. And he falls to the ground, and he reaches the highest stage of enlightenment.

What is this story talking about? He realizes that the bull is his own enlightened original mind. It’s his own divinity that’s inside, and once he reaches oneness with that there is no need for him to chase an external bull. He realizes that it is already within him, the hero, that magical bull is already within him.

After that he returns back to the market place, back to the ordinary, mundane world, nothing magical, just the same old, same old (situation). But in his mind everything is different. In his view he can see a totally magical world. Normal people may walk around. They may not see anything special, but he can see a new world. He sees this with a whole new perspective. With (whithin) everybody he sees their potential of being a truly God-like person. He sees every single person in a totally new way. In every day life he practices heroic compassion, wisdom, at the market place, at school, at work, in the family, wherever he may go.

You see, when God created us, He created us to be a hero. Every morning when we are dressing to go to work or to school, we have to say, “I’m going to be a hero today.” We can’t say, “Oh my God! I’m so tired, I’m not going to do so well today. That co-worker is going to make fun of me today, and I really don’t have the energy.” No! We’ve got to turn that off. We’ve got to turn on a new heroic radio. We have to say, “Every day, all my life, when I get up, I’m going to declare, that I’m going to have victories today, I’m going to live with heroic compassion today, I’m going to have experience, going to gain wisdom, and I’m going to return that back.”
You see, every time when we look at our lives, we can see a pattern in our every day if we look closely. We can see and remind ourselves that we are called on an adventure. Every day is a new adventure. Every day we can see that we need to accomplish more VIP, more victory, more illumination, more peace.

But in the same day, we will also face the road of trials. We will face people who talk behind our back, people who may not support us, people who say one thing and say another thing to other friends, people who may be cursing us behind us (behind our back). We may encounter people who try to actually block us from progressing. There may be those things, but remember the third step. As long as we persevere, as long as we don’t let those smaller minded people get a hold of us, make us give up, as long as we persevere through that, the hero always is able to be victorious, is able to achieve the boon, the victory, the experience, the wisdom.

And in the fourth step, think about your life, every day. You come back home, you come back to your family, you come back to your dorm, you come back to your student environment, and that’s your ordinary home, that’s your base. You come back, having gained experience that day, having gained a new insight, a new enlightenment, maybe a new creative idea. And when we come back, let us not only come back, but let us see this ordinary world, too, as full of potential. Let us come back not only to rest, but to come back to share, to help apply the wisdom and the enlightenment, to take (use) what we’ve learned and help others in our home base, in our home church community, in our larger church community, to help somebody else be victorious.

I met a young blessed child who was doing church work, many years ago. He was a very young gentleman, he was just out of high school, and I think he had just done a year of college, etc.. He was working on a very intense church related activity and all a sudden he was in a severe car accident. The person driving, one of his friends, passed away in that accident. And he had his legs severely injured. He was put into the hospital. People thought he would be permanently crippled. He, of course, was told he had to use a cane and work through the reabilitation process.

But the boy had something very interesting happen to him. His father was a missionary in China, and all of a sudden the father got a phone call. The phone call said, “I am sorry to tell you this, but your son just passed away.” They mistook the son for the other child. The father was totally shocked. He was totally puzzled. He could not understand this at all. He quickly jumped on a plane, quickly flew to the States.

He ran to the hospital. He was expecting to see his own son there on the hospital bed, maybe under a cover, maybe totally covered, ready to go to the morgue. But he walked in and there his boy was sitting up on a table, sitting up in his chair! But of course his legs were injured. The father was so relieved. But of course, the father was ready to get angry. He was saying, “What happened? Why was he (the driver) so careless, etc..?”

But the young boy was really heroic in his answers. He said to his father, “I’m not going to let myself spiral into negativity. I can easily fall into a victim mentality. I can easily blame my friend for driving not that well. I can easily blame the church. I can easily blame God for not protecting us that day. But you know what, dad, I’m going to choose to do a different thing. I’m going to choose to thank you for caring for me. I’m going to choose to thank my friend that was driving, I’m going to choose to thank God who saved my life.”

See, I hadn’t seen this young man in many years. I once met him in Washington, then again I met him in Beijing. We spent about an hour conversing, and all of a sudden, after many years ?it was actually this past Sunday- I saw this young man with a cane coming into the church. I said, “I definitly have seen that young man before!” He came up to me and said, “Hyung Jin Nim, I shared a one hour conversation with you in Beijing and in Washington, if you remember.” And I said, “How can I forget?”

This man really inspired me during that time, but it was very interesting, because both times when I met him, he was alone. But this time he brought two very important friends. He brought a taller lady, that I thought was maybe his sister. He introduced her and he was blessed and that was his wife, and not only that, she has a baby on the way. When I saw that I was so amazed! I really thought, he has very injured legs, he has to use a cane, he has to hobble when he walks. And many many different types of people, when they see that kind of person would not choose to be blessed (with such a person).

When I saw his wife that day, it really moved us, it really called us to a whole new level. We noticed that she really was heroic in her own faith life. She incidently had a brother who passed in a car accident many many years ago. And so she had compassion for those who were injured in those kinds of accidents. One thing happened, and eventually they were able to get matched and come together, and she totally accepted that blessing. She accepted it. She said, “I’m going to be great in this marriage. I’m going to be happy in my marriage, I’m going to be successful in this marriage. ”

When I saw them, they were so amazing. I was so surprised, I was inspired. They were so positive, so inspiring, so alive despite their difficult circumstances. And I told them before I left, “Hey! Don’t be surprised if you end up in my sermon.” And brothers and sisters, here they are in my sermon! Let’s give them a big round of applause! Come on! (big applause).
See, these are people within our community. These are people in our Unification family. They’re in our Unification family. They’re right amongst us. We may walk by them and think they are (just) normal in their minds and their hearts but if we look closely, we see heroic living, we see heroic mindsets. We see mindsets that never get weighed down, that overcome first in the heart, in the mind. When I saw them I truly was inspired.

True Father got his calling at the age of 16 and began his heroic adventure. He faced the bitterest road of trials, imprisoned, tortured, left for dead but he kept on fighting for God with true love, and he was victorious.
We have brothers and sisters and Unification church communities in 180+ nations of this world. When our family did the world speaking tour, we went to all sorts of different countries. My sister did so many countries in South America. My brother-in-law did countries in Europe. He did the Bahamas, and many times we reflect together. We say, “It’s amazing! We’ve been to different countries. We see blessed children from all around the world. ”

My older brother always tells me, “I remember, when I first got off that plane in the Bahamas, I thought there would be (only) one brother there.” He came out of that plane, and he noticed a whole group of little Bahaman boys, all tanned and waving Unification flags, saying ,”True Parents, True Family.” He boggled his mind (could not believe it). He said, “It’s incredible, the foundation that True Parents have made.”

See, when I studied religion, I found that no religious founder has ever accomplished this much in their life time. Only True Parents, compared to all the religious founders, have accomplished this incredible foundation that extends all over this world. (Big applause).

But see, following the heroic path, they don’t only go and achieve the great victory. They come back to the every day life. They come back to the every day reality. I see them coming back at 89 years of age, still working extremely hard, getting up at 2am every day to start the day with spiritual practice. And they never forget to notice the ordinary (life).

I see them, and many of you may have witnessed it, in the morning when their grandchildren come out. And Father may be talking about something really serious. And the grandchildren come and they come running and screaming, and he goes, “Whoo, wee!” He’s like a little child again. And we can see him just totally embracing that moment, totally being one with the basic ordinary life.

And you can see him, even at each meal, thanking God, praying, and I see him crying over even breakfast. He’s praying, just thanking so much God for the victory. I see them being grateful for just being alive, being able to spend time with members every day. And we shared a beautiful dinner with them, just a couple of days ago. They’re so happy to see their children, so proud of our sister here who graduated with 4 honors’ degrees from Harvard, at the same time, at one graduation. So proud! So proud in seeing their children working.

They’re so encouraging, and they encourage us to be the best at what we can do, whatever we can do. They empower us to be the humble hero. They share their wisdom, they share their enlightenment. They don’t only dwell in the realm of victory and enlightenment. They come back down to share with us the wisdom, to share with us the strength that helped them achieve those things.

Brothers and sisters, when you do succeed in life, it’s so important to remember that the true hero returns back to share. He comes back with the victory to the ordinary world, to every day reality, back to the work place, back to home. He comes back as a hero. But when he comes back to his home, he may not be received as hero. But there, he humbly shows, he humbly teaches, he humbly shares his experiences, his victories, his enlightenments.

Brothers and sisters, in the same way, in our lives as well, as we succeed, let’s remember to share those experiences, to share the victories, the enlightenment, also the resources, with your own personal family, with your church family as well. Help people in our church community succeed. Help, mentor somebody. Bring a new light into somebody’s life. If you can do that, you will help others also live every day like a true hero as well.

Brothers and sisters, what can we learn today? Like the hero, you will be called every day, and you will face adversity, every day. But you will overcome, you will be victorious and you can return to share and empower others. See, we were designed by Almighty God to live this kind of pattern, not only to live ordinary, but truly live extraordinary. We were designed to go through this path, to really be able to come back and share that wisdom.

Every day we can remember our calling. Every day when we live with professionalism, every day when we go out and show our best, then we are changing society’s impression of our community, of our True Parents. Every day we are changing the world with our actions, with our work. Every day when we face adversity, we can face it with bravery. We can overcome. We can find the bull in our life, we can remember that the true hero lies within (us). True Parents are always with us, and then we can return to our home base, not necessarily as a huge victor, but coming back as an ordinary brother and sister, come back to share that wisdom, to help another person increase, to help another person succeed, to help another person find victory.

See, we will walk the hero’s journey. Remember the hero, the Hercules, the Samson, the Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, all these amazing heroes, especially our True Parents, the “Superman of Heaven and Earth.” Brothers and sisters, in the same way, we will find all that ourselves (we will also find all that), walking on the hero’s path.

If we do that, if we understand that True Parents are always within us, we will find ourselves with more victory, more illumination and more peace, and we will live that blessed life that True Parents have blessed us to live.

Brothers and sisters, if you can receive it, give it up (give applause) for True Parents! (Very loud applause).

Transcribed by: Rev. Beartice Clyburn

Edited by: Rev. Bruno Klotz

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