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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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

"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...

my tweets

  • Take heart. Press on. Be encouraged. Christ is still risen. || 1 day ago
  • It's not Easter. Crowds may be smaller. But may we preach the Gospel w/ deep conviction; That we truly believe that the tomb is still empty. || 1 day ago
  • Looking for a church in Seattle? Join us tomorrow to hear a word from this woman of God. The tomb is still empty! twitter.com/LizVerHage/sta… || 1 day ago
  • The degradation of our environment impacts all but the reality is that poor communities suffer most...perpetuating the injustice of poverty. || 1 day ago
  • Caring for God's creation should always be part of our stewardship. In other words, it's not optional but an essential part of discipleship. || 1 day ago
  • Fantastic @CTmagazine piece about @gailsongbantum, Executive Pastor @SeattleQuest. Inspired by her story/leadership: christianitytoday.com/women-leaders/… || 3 days ago