Learning to Love the Blessed Adventure

November 22, 2008, HQ Church, Chungpadong, Seoul Korea

Heavenly Father, we pray that in our lives, in this incredible blessed life that we have been blessed with, that we will know with confidence that we will attain the blessed goals that You have given to us. And, Father, at the same time, let us know that while we are achieving those beautiful dreams and those visions that You have given to us, that we may not only endure the path, but that we may we ENJOY the path.

Welcome Remarks:

Yeon Ah Nim:

Good afternoon brothers and sisters.

The weather outside is getting cold but we know that with True Parents and Heavenly Father our heart is always warm. We are always honored to have you here in this sanctuary and for those who are joining with us via internet, we also welcoming you as well.

Welcome brothers and welcome sisters.

Hyung Jin Nim:

Welcome Brothers and sisters. It’s cold outside but it’s a little warmer here. Maybe too warm. Are you guys okay? I want to take you to True Parents words today. We will read from Cheung Seung Gyong page 494, “What kind of being is God? God is a being with a heart that desires to give and give endlessly which is also why we seek Him. God is not content with what He has given so far. His heart seeks to give abundantly while also promising even better things in the future. If we are with such a being, we can be happy even in a state of poverty. When we reach the situation in which we are experiencing starvation in a shocking way we experience the stimulation of future hope within the present reality. When a mother feels sorry that she cannot give enough, if her child hugs her saying, “Mommy,” will that just be a physical hug? How grateful the mom will be. It is a chance to shed tears of mutual comfort, looking to the future. It is not an occasion for despair but a place of explosive growth where they can take the hope of tomorrow as stimulation for the present, make a joint resolution together and encourage each other.

Therefore, such an experience is not a miserable one. Only within such a realm of love can we find the stimulation to look to the future and sing praise for its value within the realm of reality. Hence, we come to the conclusion that there is no misfortune for those who live within this realm of love.”

Brothers and sisters, True Father’s word that we heard today really encourages us to remember the beauty and power of the future. When we understand God’s great love for us, then we also understand that He has great things ready and being planned for our futures and we cannot just take a look at our lives at present and say, “This is all that’s going to become. This is as good as it gets.” We have to remember that in the realm of love that seeks to give endlessly, there is an unending future of hope, and that is what Father is teaching us today.

Brothers and sisters, I want to welcome you to service. Let’s always remember that when we start service until we end, we will be giving our dedication together. We will be giving our prayers and songs. We will be offering to God today. You know, all those things are part of the practice. All those kinds of things are what bring joy to God. When we can truly offer our hearts in fullness, in total trusting, in a trusting heart, God can feel happiness and joy. So let us remember that today. I want to invite you to participate today. Not only just a spectator but participate, sing together with the choir. They practice 4 days a week for us brothers and sisters, 5 hours a day so that they can perform and really move the Holy Spirit within all of us. Let’s give it up to Two Rivers Choir, guys. Come on, let’s give it up! (Appluase)

So let’s sing with them. Let’s sing with them today and let’s really praise and honor God. Brothers and sisters, I hope this service can be better than any other and we can really bring joy and happiness to God this day.

Once again, welcome!

Yeon Ah Nim:

When Hyung Jin Nim begins to reside in a certain place, the very first thing he does is to look for a place to put an altar. On the altar, of course, he puts the True Parents’ picture first and he puts True Children’s picture that joined the spirit world and then he puts a Holy Candle infront of them. In that process, we ask our children to bring something that is precious to them. It can be a very small thing. It can be their drawing, it can be their favorite toy or maybe it can be a small rock they found in the playground and then we place these gathered items on the altar and then the altar becomes not a separate thing from our children but it becomes a part of them because they contributed in creating it.

So whenever we have a family celebration, something like our children’s birthday, we always place our piece of cake that we cut for True Parents on the altar. In our family it became really natural, so our children automatically should offer first a piece of cake to True Parents. Even they remind us sometimes. It is really fun to create an altar with our children, even with your children, I’m sure. It teaches our children that practicing and attending True Parents is not something very distant but very close to us.

Brothers and sisters, we are on this earth in a limited time and if our devotion can be passed on to our next generation, I believe the legacy of living for the sake of others, God and True Parents will last forever. Aju!

Opening prayer of Hyung Jin Nim:

Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing us to this sanctuary today. Father, we are here in this beautiful sanctuary, here in the Fatherland of Korea and, Father, we are grateful that You have brought us from all over the world to be able to come here together as one family, Father, as brothers and sisters who have traveled thousands of miles to be with us here.

Father, we pray that You may be with each and every one of the brothers and sisters here and may You bless them with Your holy hands and may You give them divine health. We pray that You may give them abundance and blessing and that through them this world may become a more blessed place.

Father, we thank You for this joy that we are able to receive. We pray that You may also receive our hearts, our minds, Father, and all that we wish to offer to You today. We pray that it may bring You joy, that it will bring You happiness and that it may bring You pride in seeing Your children.

Thank you so much Father. We pray that we may truly be the children that can lift up Your head and hands today and give us the strength that we need to go forth towards the amazing future.

Thank You so much for bringing us here and we pray offering an everlasting love and a profound gratitude in the names of all the Central Blessed Families gathered here together in one name. Aju!

Interesting Story:

We always have something interesting to start with. I saw somebody who has a very interesting observation. “Everything I need to know I learned from Noah’s Ark,” he wrote. And here it goes:

Don’t miss the boat
Remember that we are all in the same boat
Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark
Stay fit. When you’re 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
Don’t listen to the critics. Just get on with your job that needs to be done.
Build your future on high ground.
For safety sake, travel in pairs
Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs
When you are stressed, just float along
Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.

Main Sermon:

Brothers and sisters, today I’d like to talk to you about Learning to Love the Blessed Adventure. In order to live the blessed life, we must learn to love this amazing adventure that God has given to us. Too many people get focused on just the goals in life and do not notice the multitude of gifts that God is providing along the way. It is so important to let the goals guide our direction like the North Star. But we must learn to look and enjoy the journey, not just endure it, and the adventures that God is giving to us. The journey of life is what makes our life rich and a blessing for ourselves and for others.

Let’s take a look at some world scriptures; let’s read them together. In the Islamic tradition, the Holy Koran, Surah 846 it says, “You are ever toiling on toward your Lord but you shall meet Him; you shall surely travel from stage to stage.”

And in Buddhism the Buddha teaches, “Practicing step by step, when gradually fulfilling all Buddha teachings, it is like setting up a foundation (rather) than building the room. Generosity and self-control like this are basis of enlightened beings’ practices.”

Let us look what the Master Confucius spoke in the Analects 2-4. Let’s read it together, “At 15, I set my heart upon learning. At 30, I had planted my feet upon firm ground. At 40 I no longer suffered from perplexities. At 50 I know what the biddings of heaven were. At 60 I heard them with a docile ear. At 70 I could follow the dictates of my own heart, for what I desired no longer overstepped the boundaries of right.”

Paul wrote in Romans 5:3, “We rejoice in our sufferings. Knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character produces hope and hope does not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured into our hearts.”

And finally, True Father speaks in “Raising children in God’s will” , “After a seed has been planted in the ground, it has to go through various stages in order for it to bear fruit. First, it has to grow roots, then the trunk, then the branches and the leaves. And then it has the flower before the fruit can come out. This is a natural process; the growth of a tree from the roots to when it bears fruit, all of these processes have to be gone through in order for the desired fruit to appear. When seen in this light, in the world of humans, for one individual or one nation to reach perfection, or for this world to reach perfection, centered on the providence for God, in this whole process, we cannot just look towards the GOOD times.”

Brothers and sisters, all this is about learning to understand that life is a journey. It is not only about attaining goals although the goals are very critical in our lives, but it is also about understanding the beauty of the journey.

I heard one ice waterfall climber speaking about his experience about climbing ice water falls. He said that when climbing an ice mountain they are aiming for the peak. They are trying to get to the top of the mountain. That’s of course their goal, and that’s a very clear goal; it’s a defined goal and it is something that they will absolutely fight and struggle for. They look to the peak for direction and purpose but they also must pay extremely close attention to each step, in each hook that they place in the ice water fall. Because if they do not pay attention to each one of those steps, it could mean tragedy. It could mean a disaster. It could mean that they can slide down in this ice waterfall and even end in a serious fatality.

They say that the adventure and the thrill of ice waterfall climbing is in the journey of getting up that waterfall. The danger that is at every step forces them to become completely aware of each place that they are putting their next hook in and each step that they are taking up that waterfall, to be completely aware of the process, the journey, as well as the ultimate goal of getting to the top. They notice the winter wild flowers that are hidden in those beautiful icy peaks. They see the frozen water, multi-colored, beautiful, translucent. They see the small vegetation that’s unwilling to die in the freezing winters, the sunlight illuminating the crystal waterfall, the ice, the beautiful rocks and water. They say that this is the great joy of climbing the frozen waterfalls.

In Asia, there is a beautiful legend, an old ancient tale, about a monkey God named Sonogong in Korean. In the legend of Sunogong, there’s a monk who must attain an ancient Buddhist scripture and bring that to China. And he must overcome 81 great disasters to attain Buddhahood and enlightenment. But he is very weak and he’s always being attacked by demons who wished to eat his holy flesh to be free from their sins.

And there are many demons in these legendary ancient times. I’m sure you guys have not heard about these kinds of demons, the buffalo demon king, the 9 headed bird, the great python, the spider demoness, the thousand eye demon, the 9 headed lion. Did you hear about these guys?

The goal is to get the scriptures of the Buddha and bring them to China. That’s the goal, the great goal. But you see, it is the magical journey and the near death tragedies and experiences that made him and his team legendary.

It is the same within our lives. In order to truly live legendary lives, we, too, must understand that life is a blessed journey. It is filled with obstacles and challenges. Sometimes our opponents look so great like the buffalo king demon or the dragon. But we must understand that it is through the journey of life that God is making us stronger and readying us for a greater blessed life. When we notice that value of the journey, when we notice that the journey is so precious, we can be filled with joy and gratitude whether we are facing the buffalo demon king or crossing the flaming mountains or simply noticing a beautiful flower on the sidewalk.

Brothers and sisters, I’ve noticed that women do this very well. They are so enlightened! I noticed women do this extremely well. When they do it? When they are shopping. I’ll tell you why.

I have been among women when they were shopping. They were looking for the the blue blouse, the new thing. They were trying everything on. They checked everything from all angles. They asked their husbands what they think, and the husbands did not give a satisfactory answer, and so they asked their friends and, of course, tried some more items, but did not buy them. They did not buy the items in the end, but they tried them all. Their shopping is an adventure and fun for them. It’s fellowship. It’s encouraging each other. They love the JOURNEY of shopping, not just the purchase. Women, give me some praise. Give me some encouragement. (Applause).

See, it’s the journey, it’s the fun of that adventure of trying to find that new blue blouse or whatever. It’s an amazing journey They can have fellowship and have fun and not just do the final purchases.

There is wisdom in here. The joy in life is not simply attaining our goals that we have or that God has given us. These are extremely important tasks and, of course, they bring great joy into our lives but it is also essential to enjoy the adventure that God puts us through so that we can attain and accomplish those great goals.

It is just like shopping. The joy is not only in the final purchase or in the finding of that perfect item that you are looking for, but in the fellowship, in the fun. The joy is in the obstacles of the young lady, trying on that exact same thing as you and laughing at you while you’re trying yours on. (Laughter). Or in the torture of not finding that perfect blouse until the final closing moment, until the shop almost closes. That is exciting.

Brothers and sisters, it’s kind of like that with raising children as well. Raising children is the same. It’s joy in raising them through all their amazing transformations. Sometimes they do things that hurt us, they disturb us. Sometimes they frustrate us, they annoy us. But through those obstacles they are raising us into parents. They are making us into parents, and when they overcome those hurdles and when we overcome them together, we are stronger as a family.

Today at our Christian service, the minister said, “Who gave birth to your mother?” and everybody in the room said, “Who gave birth to our mother? Grandmother, right?” (Laughter). And he said, “You’re all wrong! You’re all wrong! Your Grandmother did not give birth to your mother. Go ask her. Go ask her, ‘Grandmother, did you give birth to mommy?’ She’ll say, ‘No, I gave birth to my daughter. Not to mom, (Laughter) not to my mom. I gave birth to my daughter.’ That’s what she’ll say.”

So who really gives birth to the mom? What he was saying is that the children do. As soon as the mom has the child, the child makes the mom. It is because of the children that the mom becomes a mom. The mom is given birth to by the children. In the same way, this raising of the children also is a journey. It is a beautiful adventure when the children are raising us; they are making us into parents and dads and moms.

The fun of raising kids is not only in the final product of the perfect child. It is in the excitement of encountering the parenting challenges, it is in the journey of raising these precious children of God.

One year before my brother passed away, we had a wonderful time. Kook Jin Hung, Young Jin Hung and I, we were able to travel cross country and we travelled from north to the south and I remembered it was such a wonderful time. I don’t know how long it was. I think it was maybe one week or two weeks. I can’t remember exactly the time but it was so enriching. And when I think about it, I’m so grateful! I was able to take that amazing time with my brothers.

I remember one point in the journey, when we had a big argument; we were on this big barge that was crossing a big river in North Carolina and it was night time. Kook Jin Hung and Young Jin Hung and me we were arguing about something and I can’t remember what it was; we were arguing about something. It got so heated, becoming a terrible argument (fight). Everybody said, “I want to go home. I don’t want to travel anymore.” We had a huge, huge argument. I don’t even remember what the content of that argument was but what I do remember was that we resolved it. We resolved it until we were able to travel again, and we had a wonderful time.

The whole purpose of the trip was not to get to that destination of Louisiana or North Carolina or whatever. That was part of the purpose, of course, (but more important were) the incredible moments.
I remember there was this one beautiful beach in South Carolina. There was nobody on it. There was white sand for miles and nobody on it. I remember playing football there with just my two brothers. How precious those memories are! How amazing those adventures were and how much I treasured them especially after the passing of my brother.

So you see, our movement as well is on an incredible journey.
We not only had a journey that lasted for a couple of decades but we also have made an incredible strife. There’s no religious tradition that has made this much foundation during the lifetime of a founder. And our journey is not yet complete. True Parents are here, and we are moving on to a new quest. We are on the journey to the world temple. We are beginning to encounter the mountains, the flaming mountains of this journey. We are facing the buffalo king demons and the nine headed demon birds who say it’s impossible. They mock us, but there’s this excitement in this journey.

I was speaking with our musical director here and I was telling him, “You know what? This is so exciting! We’re on this an incredible journey! We’re on this incredible quest!”

And yet, there’s so much doubt in this quest. “It’s never going to happen. We’ll never going to be able to build the World Temple. We’ll never going to be able to bring UC to the world stage. We’ll never going to be able to be accepted and be in the mainstream during our lifetime. It’s impossible!” There are those moments of tremendous doubts, frustration, “It’s never going to happen. It is impossible in our decade, in our generation, in our lifetime.”

But then heaven opens up so many incredible miracles that I can’t speak about now but I’ll do that later. But just incredible miracles open up and then the road is shown. And then people say, “Oh my God! It may be possible! It is possible! Yes! We can bring the UC to the world stage. Yes! We can become an impactful tradition in this world. Yes! We can receive acknowledgment. Yes! All the sweat, and the blood and the tears that our first generation and True Parents have shed will not be in vain.” And then a couple of days later again, “It’s not going to happen!” And then again a miracle happens and again God shows us the weakness of our faith and helps us to move forward.

See, we vacillate. We walk a journey and feel so tired and feel not being able to make it through, “We’re not going to make it. There’s no way, the goal is way too far! It’s too deep into those mountains, and there’s no way we’ll overcome them.” We have those doubts and overcome them one by one, overcome each one, show progress, show development, show little hope, show more life. And then God opens up a new path, shows us a new path, new hope, new life. It’s an incredible journey. This motion and progress forward is what is so exciting. Even though we are walking a journey with a huge goal, we should not only be looking towards the peak. We should not only be looking towards the final destination point and beyond that, but also enjoying the beautiful wild flowers that are around us, enjoying each step of the way that we are walking.

Brothers and sisters, what can we learn today? Let us just learn to enjoy and thank God along the way in our lives. That is such an important practice. We practise this every time when we do a little breathing meditation and we hope that you can take that into your life. When you walk, when you sleep, when you’re studying, when you need mental break, you just come back to your breath, you come back to the fact that you are alive and you just thank God for the fact that you’re alive. In our journey in life, in our journey as the movement to the world stage, let’s thank God each step of the way, in each hurdle, in each obstacle. Overcoming will make us stronger, will make us more fit and it will make us more apt to deal with incredible blessings that God is readying for us.

We will actually reach the goal of the world temple. And that will beTrue Parents’ substantial victory that has never been seen. But while we are moving towards that goal as a community, as a movement, and even in our own lives, we’ll receive this time of journey as a gift. When all this is done and the UC IS at the world stage and the world witnesses the incredible sight of all religions coming together as one family centering on True Parents every week, when we show that to the world and we celebrate that unity and harmony and oneness, we will laugh and rejoice at the doubts and obstacles that we had along the way. They will actually be fun to discuss, once we have solved them. But although this is the journey to the world temple and the world stage, no doubt there will be more adventures, more excitement and more future things to look forward to, even AFTER we reach that stage.

Brothers and sisters, we must always be able to be bold in our lives, to be able to be declare over our lives and to those around us that our lives will be the stuff that legends are made of. And then we will truly live heroic and legendary lives. This is so important in living the blessed life to acknowledge that we are walking the blessed life and to see the beautiful journey as part of the goal, to be able to recognize the beautiful path as part of the way. And brothers and sisters, I do believe that if we do go forward with this heart, we will not only achieve every single goal that we have set forth, but we will also not just endure it but we will enjoy it, when God does bring those blessings to us and lets us share these with the world.

Brothers and sisters, if you can receive this message, let’s give it up for God and True Parents. (Applause)

I do believe that if we go forth with this kind of heart, 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 and be a blessing to others in this world.

Let us gather our hearts in our final prayer:

Heavenly Father, dearest most beloved True Parents of heaven and earth,

Father, we thank you for this day that You have blessed unto us. And, Father, this day, as we receive Your holy presence, Father, as You pour Your hearts with a new hope and joy, Father, let that not only remain in us but let us be the vessels to share that joy and hope with others.

Heavenly Father, we pray that in our lives, in this incredible blessed life that we have been blessed with, that we will know with confidence that we will attain the blessed goals that You have given to us. And, Father, at the same time, let us know that while we are achieving those beautiful dreams and those visions that You have given to us, that we may not only endure the path, but that we may we ENJOY the path.

Father, we will be truly enjoyed with You as we walk. Father, each step that we take, we pray that even encountering hurdles and obstacles, Father, that in our hearts we may use the power of our minds to transform them from obstacles into opportunities, from hindrances into blessings, Father, from archangels into children of God.

Father, we pray that You may give us the wisdom and the strength, the inspiration, motivation and joy that we will need to overcome and to pursue the great missions that You have given us. Let us be those actualizers and the bringers of happiness and joy to You. Father, we pray that You may use each one of us to work Your miraculous providence in history, that You may work and create new histories that can be the stuff that legends are made of.

Father please, let us understand that incredible potential that You have bestowed upon us. Let us believe in it. Let us move forward and believe in the potential of others around us, that we move together and fulfill Your dreams and desire.

Thank you so much Father. We pray with everlasting love and a tremendous gratitude that You have given us this day, another step in this incredible journey of life. We pray that this life may be a testament to Your grace and Your love.

We pray all these things in the name of Hyung Jin Gajong, a member of a Central Blessed Family, praying here together with True Parents and all the brothers and sisters here around the world, in one family, in one name…Aju!

Tranascribed by: Cathy Quebral

Edited by: Rev. Bruno Klotz

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