Eugene Cho

half way to life or death

on a lighter note, i am one year closer towards 40. turned 36 last friday. enjoyed some quiet time at home with the family. it’s been an eventful 36 years – one intense immigration, moved about 25 times (mostly from one dorm to another), 8 cross country drives (7 of them alone), 3 kids and 1 wife, 1 knee operation, 1 broken bone, 1 ruptured achilles, visits to 17 countries, about 63 trips to vancouver, bc, 2249 pieces of sushi consumption, and other stuff but my memory is fading. 

life expectancy in the US for men is 72 years old (77 for women).  global male life expectancy is 62.7 years (66 for women).  the world’s lowest life expectances are swaziland (33.2 years), botswana (33.9) and lesotho (34.5) – all countries from africa.  that’s a long post in itself so I won’t go there because I started off the post with the words, ‘on a lighter note…”.  the world’s highest life expectancies averaging 83.5 years are represented by andorra, san marino, singapore, and japan. 

life is fleeting.  we all know that.  halfway through my statistical life expectancy, i guess my self plea and prayer is that i would live the remainder of my life without regrets.  asides from the importance of relationships, i’ve recently started making a list of things i want to do before i move on.  it includes:  go to at least one u2 and common concert,  attend one 0lympics and one world cup soccer match, backpack europe with minhee, hike up baekdusan in north korea (home of my parents), throw out the first pitch in a future seattle mariners game, give a rah rah speech to the seattle seahawks in a future football game, ‘live’ in africa with family for at least couple months, plant a few more churches, publish one book entitled, ‘the overcomplexified spiritual wanderer,’ catch a 50+lb salmon in alaska, and blah blah blah.  So, my question:  what would you suggest as, “you must do this before you die.”

Filed under: family

5 Responses

  1. john says:

    Happy birthday Eugene. I hit 36 myself a few weeks ago…I’ve got about eight days on you. It’s not so bad from up here.

  2. Teresa says:

    Looking forward to your book:)
    Happy birthday!

  3. james says:

    You’ve got to do that RV roadtrip you’ve talked about before you die.

  4. Baine says:

    It is my personal goal to surpass your sushi-cosumption-at-age-36 by the time I am 36. I am well on my…watch out.

    bbc

  5. eugenecho says:

    baine
    i’m not sure man.
    i’m in tokyo right now (waiting for 2.5 hours to head to bangkok) and there’s sushi right in front of me.

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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