As I’m writing this, I’m on an airplane en route to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It’s a long flight starting from Seattle and making stops in Chicago and Fort Lauderdale before arriving in Haiti early Friday morning. I’ll write about the purpose of the trip to Haiti in my next entry.
But I wanted to share a bit with my blog community about the ongoing tension of balance, priorities, schedules, focus, goals, joy, etc.
Minhee and I have started three organization in the past 9 years – Quest, Q Cafe, and One Day’s Wages. Not small things but ventures that have required a great amount of time, commitment, sacrifice, energy, funds, courage, stupidity, prayers, and collaboration.
On top of that, my marriage and my family are very important to me. Not just important on paper or for the sake of sermons but important for my heart and soul. Having said that, I don’t want to hold marriage or family as idolatries in my life. Or in other words, my desire to serve God certainly includes my identities as husband and father but is not encompassed by only these two things.
Marriage is not my God. Family is not my God. They are some of the means by which God expresses His love for me and means by which I serve and honor Him but they are not my gods.
I remember sharing with Minhee during our dating years that we wanted to live our lives faithfully, dangerously, and passionately for the glory of Christ – then and in the future. We didn’t just want to get married, have 2.4 kids, a doggie named Chewbacca, a nice home with a manageable mortgage with a nice backyard, two cars including a Minivan, get our kids to college, save a nice nest egg for retirement, and watch Korean dramas during the latter days of our lives.
We wanted to live faithfully, dangerously, and passionately.
But what we’ve learned is that it’s easier said than done which is why in recent years, we found ourselves slowly gravitating towards complacency rather than the trajectory of “vision, mission, passion” we had to agreed years ago.
Now or never might be a melodramatic statement but do you ever get the sense how fast time flies. Before you know it, you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and bam. You wonder…”Where did my life go?”
This is why we decided to start ODW – it was now or never. The longer we waited…the more burdensome it became; the more petrifying it became; the more reasons and excuses we came up with; the more we thought about “we should really start saving for the kids’ college tuitions.”
This is why Minhee is back in grad school and studying for another Master’s degree (this time in Marriage and Family Therapy) so that she can be a source of hope and healing for immigrant communities. This is why I’m en route to Haiti. This is why Minhee and I are traveling to Guatemala in two weeks to do some visioning with NGOs and CBOs.
And yet, it never feels completely RIGHT.
Leaving the wife and kids this morning didn’t feel right. Minhee and I are leaving the kids with a mix-mash of various friends when we go to Guatemala for a few days and that doesn’t feel right. Taking out loans for grad school at this juncture of our life doesn’t feel completely right. Juggling Minhee’s grad school, the kids’ schedules, and my various hats…don’t always feel right. Trying to make tight financial decisions don’t always feel right.
There’s this constant tension because I want it to feel right. I want them to feel right. I want to feel right…I want to be right.
And maybe that’s the whole point. Maybe there’s something about following Christ that just doesn’t feel right.
Or rather, how did we get duped into thinking that taking up the Cross felt right?
Be encouraged my friends. If things aren’t “right with you,” maybe you’re in a good place…