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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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest Took a train to Busan. Did not encounter any zombies but I was ready just in case.

Busan. First visit to this city (couple weeks ago) and was blown away by its beauty. Also, shocked that it has become the fifth largest containment port city in the world. That's a lot of import and export.

#MyAttemptToBeTheBestSmartphonePhotographer 
#Pusan #SouthKorea

my tweets

  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 6 hours ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 6 hours ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 6 hours ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 2 days ago
  • Father, bless these Iraqi and Syrian refugee children that have already endured so much. As we pray, teach us how t… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 4 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: instagram.com/p/BZF2j6Ngrna/ || 4 days ago