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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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. Seattle. 7:00pm. Desperately holding on to summer. #goldengardenpark #nofilter Happy Birthday, Minhee! I'm so grateful for you. You radiate faith, hope, and love.  No...you don't complete me. That would be silly and simply humanly impossible but you keep pointing me and our family to Christ who informs and transforms our lives, marriage, family, and ministry. Thanks for being so faithful. I love you so much. (* And what a gift to be in Korea together.)

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