Eugene Cho

in the middle of nowhere for a retreat

After 8 days of complete isolation, I’m on my way back home to Seattle.  I’ve been away in the middle of nowhere which I’ll share more tomorrow or so.  It’ll be good to come back home…I’ve missed Minhee and the kids so much that it was driving me a little insane.  But it was also good to be completely isolated in this small town in the middle of nowhere.  No TV, no internet, no radio…nothing…minus two cheating incidents of “borrowing” some bandwidth outside a Quizno’s shop Dairy Queen to post the last blogpost and to tend to other matters.

I did a lot of thinking about the past and future, more thinking about my calling as a pastor, working on projects on a friend’s farm, praying, some reading, working on the poverty organization, and lots of this:

Being away in complete isolation reminded me of the SEVEN trips I took – ALONE – from one coast to the other in my early 20s.  I would get in my car and just drive for days and at times, weeks…alone.  I’ve always been an introvert…an introvert who’s since learned good social skills.  But corroborated by the fact that I was voted “the shyest person” in 6th or 7th grade, I have a place in my soul that just needs to retreat.

Any other introverts here?  How do you balance yourself?

Minhee was gracious to let me get away completely alone.  Something I haven’t done in years.  On my facebook status a week+ ago, I wrote that I was going where no Asian has gone before.  Apparently, I was wrong since the wikipedia page for this town shows that Asians comprise of .27%. 

Anybody want to guess where I was?  If I told you, don’t ruin the guessing game.

Filed under: family, religion

6 Responses

  1. Matt says:

    Eugene, that is one big fish. Largemouth bass, right?

  2. Pat says:

    Serious introvert here. As far on the I as an INFP can be :).

    I spend time in the mornings and evenings after everybody else is asleep, by myself. I often take lunches or a coffee break by myself. I put my headphones on for concentration, often with no music on but just headphones on my ears. I ride a motorcycle (no radio) :). And I think constantly about what it means to have the soul of a monk in the lifestyle of a suburban family guy who does software 🙂

  3. Sue says:

    Long walks is my balancing point. Helps me to unwind especially when I take them in the evenings.

  4. alliehope says:

    I hear you there, Pat. I feel kind of the same way–the soul of a nun in the body and life of a restaurant cashier (I’m a girl, so the monk thing kinda doesn’t apply). I love getting up and watching the sun rise, simply sitting quietly. I also use a lot of my train rides for meditation, and love journaling. That’s my retreat, taking time to write, since it separates me from everything else. Love it! (I guess introversion isn’t a bad thing sometimes!)

  5. Writing is an escape, retreating into my own headspace for a while with some tunes and a notebook.

    I also enjoy running and long walks.

  6. […] in love with nebraska As I shared earlier, I spent about 8 days in the middle of nowhere recently to cap my sabbatical.  Where did I go?  Because of some connections with family and […]

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One Day’s Wages

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These are crazy, turbulent times. Fight the good fight. Run the race set before us.

But we also need you for the long haul. Don't burn out. Discipleship and justice work is a marathon. Learn to take care of yourself. Don't play the victim. It's far too tempting to blame others. Be rooted in prayer, Scripture, and community. It's okay to pause, critical to rest and retreat, and godly to practice Sabbath.

#NoteToSelf Everyone loves the idea of  reconciliation...until it involves truthtelling, confessing, repenting, dismantling, forgiving, and peacemaking. Charlottesville. So heartbreaking and infuriating. We weep and mourn over the hatred in the hearts of these white nationalists. We weep and mourn but we can't be defeated.

As I stare at this photo that's making its round on the internet, I'm reminded of the utter importance of showing up. I'm grateful for the news media, law enforcement, clergy, and peaceful protesters that are currently there to report, protect, pray, and protest.

And this is an invitation to us. May we not be mere bystanders. May we keep pressing forward. Seek justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly. Commit to truth-telling, justice, reconciliation, peacemaking. Follow the ways of Christ. Every day. And it's important to note that we don't have to go to Charlottesville to do this. In fact, it's more important that we do this exactly where we're at. May we live out the call to reconciliation in our churches, workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, and around our dining tables. Lord, may it be so... We don't have to go to Charlottesville to do this. We have to do this wherever were called to be.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. /// Thanks to those who let me know that the photo wasn't actually from today but rather from last month in Charlottesville. - https://www.facebook.com/FrankSomervilleKTVU/posts/1551137301616258:0 Grateful for a spontaneous, last minute trip with Minhee to my old stomping grounds - San Francisco. 48 hours of visiting this special city that I called home for so many years.

Pic 1: Went to the Cliff House restaurant where we got engaged about 21 years ago to make out. Oops, sorry, I meant...to reflect on God's faithfulness over these many years.

Pic 2: Walked across the Golden Gate Bridge because it's such an iconic place - with some of the most incredible views.

Pic 3: Enjoyed a glass of some Cabernet Sauvignon and pretended to be wine connoisseurs at a vineyard.

Pic 4: Had lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Sam Tung, which boasts some of the best chicken in the country. And of course, we ate at In-n-out.

Pic 5: And finally, celebrated with the good folks at @thefreedomstory where @onedayswages received their annual Freedom Award. What an honor.

Grateful. Thankful for this sabbatical. Breathe.

Show yourself some grace.

We can't do everything for everyone in every situation. Do what you can and do it with a joyful heart.

Amen A family that eats sushi together stays together.

Seriously, I don't ever remember eating so much as a teenager but these kids eat and eat and eat. Perhaps, the reason why this kid is pushing 6 feet tall. Grateful for a special treat with the family at @JaponessaSeattle.

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