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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"He Makes All Things New." In other words, Christ is our eternal hope. I'm sitting in my swinging bench on the comforts of my front porch after an exhilarating and exhausting day at church. It never gets tiring, stale, or old to preach and proclaim the good news of the Gospel - not just on Resurrection Sunday but every week as we gather as the body of Christ.

But it was this picture of Coptic Christians in Egypt pouring into churches on Easter Sunday that deeply moved my heart...just a week after two churches were bombed by ISIS terrorists taking 45 lives and injuring hundreds.

Even in the face of persecution and suffering, I'm so grateful for the witness of these sisters and brothers in Christ. May they be comforted and strengthened...and wherever you are reading this post, stay encouraged. Be faithful and steadfast. Don't give up. May we keep running the race set before us as we fix our eyes on Christ.

It's not just there. It's all over the world...God is still at work. The Holy Spirit is still moving. God is not yet done. There's only one explanation: 
Christ has risen! He has risen, indeed! Jesus is alive! Hallelujah! #OneChurch Remember, there is no Resurrection without the Crucifixion; No Easter Sunday without Passion Friday; No empty tomb without the Cross.

So, before we move too swiftly to the celebration of the risen Christ, may we sit at the foot of the Cross...and consider the depths of His sacrifice and love. "Oh, what love is this..." Just when we think we get what it means to follow Him, Jesus washes the feet of His disciples including...the one He knew would betray Him,

and the one that would deny him,

and the others that would abandon Him in His greatest need.

What amazing love.
What amazing grace. Oh. What. Amazing. Grace. M(inhee) + E(ugene). Not taking anything for granted. 20 years = 7300 days = 175,200 hours. A flourishing  marriage doesn't just happen. The idea that two Christians who choose to get married will produce a Christ honoring marriage is a gigantic myth. Its also extremely dangerous. The truth is that it takes so much intentionality and work. Intimacy definitely includes physical touch but is not only about physical touch. We have to pray, read, listen, learn, mutually submit, confess, forgive, repent, laugh, dream, rest, play, and the list goes on.

In other words, we have to keep Christ at the center because it's inevitable, there's a lot of messing up. So much messing up. It's both beautiful and painful and without grace, it's impossible.

Grateful. Thank you, Jesus, for your grace. And thank you, Minhee...

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