Eugene Cho

the best part of wanting to change the world

I’m thankful that God rarely answers our constant requests of wanting to know the future.

Why?

Because if we knew, we’d never move forward. We’d be tempted to do what Jonah did: He ran the other way.

I can tell you right now that if I knew what the past year or the past 10 years would have been like, I’d be in complete paralysis. I have no idea what the next decade holds for me but I no longer want or need to know. It’s in good hands. I’ll just do my best. Live by grace. And trust.

I’m a dreamer. Yes, I have my bouts with cynicism but in my heart of hearts, I am a dreamer and an idealist. I believe I can change the world. But over the years, I have learned an amazing lesson:

The best part of wanting to change the world…is that you get changed in the process.

It might not be what you envisioned or even wanted but this is often the case. And more often that not, there are difficult things that take place that humble you, test you, push you, embitter you, frustrate you, but ultimately change you…for the better.

That has certainly been the case for me:

9 years ago, Minhee and I sought out to plant a church in the city of Seattle. I had no idea how difficult it would be to get things started. The stock market crashed in 2000 and interested investors disappeared. We were late on our mortgage payments. Minhee was pregnant with our second child. I couldn’t get a job for the life of me and after several months of looking, the job I finally landed was…

a custodian.

Yup, I was a then – 31 year old – custodian for a Barnes & Nobles store (above). Man, I kept that store so clean…

Honestly, I was so angry and bitter but through that experience, God humbled and changed me.

And last year, I made (thus far) the most difficult decision as a father and husband in our hopes of honoring our pledge and starting One Day’s Wages. The decision tore me up in so many ways and I was feeling so beat up, discouraged, and full of doubt. Honestly, I wept in my office wondering, “What the hell is wrong with you?” … but over the course of this past year, God has used the trials and struggles to change me.

This is why I know God loves me: He keeps working, molding, transforming, and changing me…all while loving me as I am.

Go ahead. Go for it.

Go ahead and try to change the world – however small, smaller, or big. Because in the process, God will change you.

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9 Responses

  1. mo says:

    Awesome. We usually think about being paralyzed by the unknown, but you make a great point about the KNOWN being just as paralyzing.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eugene Cho, Amy Voss, Caron Nicole , Caron Nicole , Kiefer Partridge and others. Kiefer Partridge said: RT @EugeneCho: The best part of wanting to change the world is that YOU will get changed. – http://bit.ly/aJsEtX […]

  3. wana says:

    Thanks for always sharing so openly about your struggles and how God is working in them. I’ve always been one to feel anxious about the future so this is especially encouraging.

    Btw, I must confess that I’ve been a lurker for years. heh.

  4. […] the best part of wanting to change the world « eugene cho […]

  5. rkalal says:

    We are in a passage of unknowns right now. I recently heard somewhere a comment that Joseph had no idea why he was in jail for 13 years. When would it end? Would it end? What was it for? What about those dreams, those plans for his life? Going forward, we just have to wait in the unknowns, make them the knowns: a time to pursue Jesus and trust Him. Until the time passes and God moves.

  6. Great point. My wife just mentioned the same thing to me yesterday – would I have quit my finance job to start our ministry if I knew what the last 5 months were going to look like? – not likely. Thank God He is God. Our faith and His power have carried it through it all. I’m just learning that sometimes the most important part of walking daily with Jesus is the word “daily”.

  7. […] world. They are – per the title of the article – “doing it yourself.” And the best part of wanting to change the world […]

  8. […] I worked as a janitor for the first 6 months trying to make ends meet. […]

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

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. I'm sharing an obligatory, "I love and appreciate my wife, she's amazing" photo. Also...because I did something naughty...or brilliant. ;) Seattle is in the midst of a crazy heatwave. Near 100 degrees, hazy, and humid. An excessive heat advisory warning has also been issued.

So, Minhee and I needed to run some errands. It waa horrible but sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do. It's also known as adulting.

So, I'm driving and the air conditioning seems to have minimal effect. Minhee is in the passenger's seat and umm, when she's not paying attention, I turn on her seat heater to 5 - the highest level. All along, she's complaining about how hot she is...for nearly an hour...until she finally realizes what I did.

Bam. Boom. Gotcha.

Minhee, I love you!

my tweets

  • RT @mrmedina: When Bryan Stevenson speaks, we do well to listen. https://t.co/o5GJD0KWR2 || 12 hours ago
  • "Mourn with those who mourn." Lifting up the people of Sierra Leone in prayers. Hundreds dead and many more missing… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… || 14 hours ago
  • Dear Barcelona: We are so sorry. We mourn the violence and tragedy in your beautiful city. We pray for healing and yearn for peace. Amen. || 1 day ago
  • Love wins in the end but meanwhile, it fights for things that matter. Love isn't sentimental. It's both gentle & fierce. Seek God's Kingdom. || 2 days ago
  • In response to racism, folks often say, "It's a sin issue." Yes...but don't be naive. Sin creates sinful systems: youtube.com/watch?v=LEbUa0… || 3 days ago
  • Everyone loves the idea of reconciliation...until it involves truthtelling, confessing, repenting, dismantling, forgiving, and peacemaking. || 5 days ago