Eugene Cho

the longest quickest year

Every time near the end of a particular year, I have the same thought:  “What in the world happened to the past year?”    This year is no different:  the past couple weeks, I’ve been “feeling” incredulous how quickly this year has passed. 

Bam.  And here it is…2008.  I was actually feeling a little down at the thought of how fast the year had passed.  But the more time I reflected upon this past year [especially while drafting up the family’s annual year in review letter], I found myself on the other spectrum: 

This has been a long year.  So much has gone on.  In fact, I can’t even believe some of the stuff that’s gone on this past year:  with myself, the family, church and ministry, and just life in general. 

I was reading this amazing post from Working the Angles where the author [Pat Loughery] reviewed his past year – month by month – and the lessons learned and goals shaped for the future.  It compelled me to glance over my blog entries and events of the past year.   In looking back, it’s helped me to gain perspective on the lessons learned but to also sense how God’s orchestrated His mercy and grace over my life. 

When we live day by day or week to week, I think it’s easy to wonder how fast time flies.  But as we look back – not just yesterday, but to the past month, and over the past year, we might all be amazed at how much life has taken place.  The tragedy might be when we let life simply pass by when it is there to be experienced.  I guess this might be called “the big picture.”

If you haven’t done so already, let me encourage you to take an hour to write down and reflect on what has transpired this past year in your life.  You might be surprised as I was.

Filed under: family, religion

7 Responses

  1. patlo says:

    Thanks for the link and the compliment, eugene! I went and busted my WP installation not long after I finished the blog entry, but I’ll try to fix it tomorrow.

    I’m happy that my little review turned into your excellent suggestion to your readers to reflect. It was very fruitful for me to do; I pray that it is for your readers.

  2. Randall says:

    When I was in Hawaii, I used to drive out to Sandy Beach on the east coast of Oahu to watch the sun rise out of the ocean on New Year’s morning, usually by myself. I’d sit at the beach and flip through my old journals. I’d reminisce and reflect. I love New Year’s, it’s by far my favorite time of year – how everything feels fresh and new, how I’m reminded of all the possibilities that are out there in life.

    I don’t know how many people do this (not the watching the sunrise bit but the reflecting bit) but I highly recommend it. Ferris Bueller was right. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss something.”

  3. Pat says:

    I love Randall’s suggestion too. i wish I journaled more frequently. One of my most treasured possessions is the set of my dad’s journals – I can trace him from his conversion experience when I was 14, through his growth and battle of cancer, to his death when i was 24. it’s a truly heart-wrenching and heart-filling expierience.

  4. Linda says:

    I know it’s not the point of your comment, Randall, but that sounds really romantic. I guess any description of Hawaii would come out that way. What a great atmosphere for reflecting and reminiscing!

    I’ve been doing my reminiscing during rush hour commutes. I reflect fairly often, which helps me be thankful and embrace the changes in myself and my life. This time last year, I was in Arizona in the middle of my residency. Year before that I was getting ready to go into internships in Chicago. Before that, I was a half-crazed grad student in Iowa. Now I’m a certified independent clinician in Seattle. Every year, I feel like I’ve moved up a step in maturity and personal growth; my world view and perspective of human existance expanded that much more.

  5. Daniel says:

    I share your sentiment how time can go by both fast and yet, so slow. Thanks for sharing your thoughts via this blog. I stumbled unto it this past year and it’s been a regular read for me since then.

  6. JChang says:

    Eugene,

    Appreciate the good post here. Also thought Pat’s comment was good:

    “One of my most treasured possessions is the set of my dad’s journals – I can trace him from his conversion experience when I was 14, through his growth and battle of cancer, to his death when i was 24. it’s a truly heart-wrenching and heart-filling expierience”

    Never thought about journaling in a way that allows my own children to understand the ups and downs I’ve been through after I’m gone. Thanks.

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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