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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This was 10 years ago. I dominated my son in wrestling and I know what you're thinking, "How could you employ a rear chokehold armbar kimura on your own son?" Hey, a competition is a competition.

I love you, son. The world is broken. This ia a sad truth. But the story of redemption is not yet finished. God is not yet done. This is the ultimate Truth. Have hope. Press on. Ten years ago, I witnessed one of those "God things" when a church called Interbay Covenant Church gave itself, its legacy, and a building property worth $7 million dollars to @seattlequest. We were then only 5 years old.

Quest is an urban, multiethnic churchplant that started in 2001. We rented the facilities at Interbay Covenant Church - a predominantly older, mostly Anglo congregation with a rich 65 years history. After some time, Pastor Ray Bartel (senior pastor, Interbay) approached me with a "crazy idea" of Interbay "dying to itself and giving itself to Quest" for the sake of the greater Kingdom and the coming generations.

This eventually led to three years of many conversations and prayers. On June 3, 2007, the two churches officially came together to become one church. In giving itself, Interbay also shared their leadership, legacy, and stories. They also gave all of their assets without any strings and without any debt.

Their radical generosity and courage is what enabled Quest to grow - not just numerically - but deeper in discipleship, and deeper in missions - to the city of Seattle and beyond. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of this merger, we created a short film (check my FB page to see the video) to tell the story - so that our church and the next generations may never forget and that the larger Church may be stirred and encouraged by a greater Kingdom vision.

Thank you, Interbay! The NBA season is over but the hustle and grind continues for my daughter. We argue sometimes but I love training my daughter. She's working hard for her senior year next year. Starting point guard. She's improved a lot. She's one of the quickest players on the floor and has a great midrange jumper. But trying to get her to keep working on her handles, using her off hand and shoulder to protect the ball,  staying and dribbling the ball lower to the ground, and playing aggressive and downhill while remaining in control. That's what we're working on this week. #hoopdreams #ChovarBall Reunited with my favorite elephant, Buh'loom. We bonded earlier this year and I'd like to think that she recognized my voice. Also, appreciate learning about ethical and sustainable eco-tourism. Anywhere. Everywhere. Night markets are the best.

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