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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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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