Eugene Cho

i need a fanny pack

Rough day yesterday.

Had a great day planned with my first sabbatical fishing trip with my father in Sacramento. Even better, we also planned a lunch trip to Inn-N-Out in between but just as we returned to the car to head off for lunch, we heard someone smash our car window. In cleaning out the glass from the car, I noticed I didn’t have my wallet and thus, the panic set in.

My fears were true. I left my wallet in the car:

  • While I don’t usually carry much cash, I did this time because of our sabbatical. Gone.
  • Credit cards.
  • Driver’s license.
  • And stupid. I also had a blank (unsigned) check. Again, because of the sabbatical and thus exposing my account number.

And wow, these whoevers worked quickly. In the likely 30 minutes since the wallet was stolen, the credit card was already used twice.

Spent half the day on the phone, running around, and in a foul mood.

So, it took a little prayer and attitude adjustment to come to some perspective:

1. Maybe I should get a fanny pack. Seriously, been so forgetful these days and I’d love to bring the fanny pack mainstream. I’d love to see preachers like Mark Driscoll and Rick Warren sport them while they’re preaching.

2. In the big picture of things, we need to learn to take things as they are and now allow such circumstances to rob us of our joy and peace. Easier said than done.

As I driving home with my father and freezing (because of the busted window), I started chuckling because I was reminiscing about the last time my family and I spent some sabbatical time in San Francisco six years ago.  Folks won’t even believe this story because it was so crazy:

I tried to be a real hero. In trying to save a woman who was having a seizure while she was driving, I got run over by a car. Left leg. Left ankle. Fire trucks. Ambulances. Death before my eyes…

And all before my wife and kids.

Hey, I got my wallet stolen but at least,

I didn’t get run over by car.😉

Perspective.

So, how about one of these beauties?

And how about this?

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23 Responses

  1. dmbaldwin says:

    I wouldn’t get too change of life conscious here Eugene. It’s a drastic step moving to a fanny pack. I think I’d rather go through what you did before I’d start wearing one of those things. I mean you’ll look like a tourist or an old man.
    Hope & pray the rest of your sabbatical goes better.
    Blessings,
    Dave

  2. Matt Appling says:

    Every vacation we go on has some kind of unplanned disaster. Last year, we rented a car and suffered not one but two flat tires…while on a remote island in the outer banks of N. Carolina. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time on the phone, then a couple of hours in a tow truck to drive up to a neighboring town, then a couple hours in a new rental to get back to town. But hey, those are what memories are made of, right?

  3. Pastor Eugene–

    Maybe you should also check out cap sacs🙂

    http://www.cap-sac.com/site/pictures/

    Way to take it all in stride. Happy vacationing!

  4. Not sure about Driscoll, but somehow I can imagine Rick Warren already having and sporting a fanny pack.🙂 And you’re right – your experience of 6 years ago. Unreal.

  5. DanW says:

    Sorry to hear about your travails. But if you start wearing fanny packs I’m going to stage an intervention.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      what are real friends for.

      “friends don’t let friends wear fanny packs.”
      there’s a commercial there.

      on another note, thanks for being such gracious hosts at the FEAST. hope you got to enjoy yourself as well.

  6. Tony Lin says:

    Maybe it’s just me and my background, but in instances like these I always thank God I’m the one being stolen from and not the one doing the stealing… without the grace of God I could have very easily been the one breaking into your car.

  7. AFR says:

    I used a fanny pack – totally unfashionable – for the 18 years our kids were growing up & needing to be shuttled about to school & sports. I still have used it when we’ve traveled extensively, too.🙂 Hooray for fanny packs!

  8. B Todd says:

    I am assuming that since you are suggesting fanny packs, your man card must have been stolen also

  9. johnhkim says:

    Wondering if one of those stolen credit card purchases was a fanny pack

  10. Darth Burger says:

    Eugene,

    You don’t need a fanny pack, you need a utility belt! Come on, everybody’s favorite Sith Lord has a utility belt. Most people won’t even notice. 🙂

    BTW, did you keep a Gospel tract or other evangelism paraphernalia in your wallet or car? Just wondering if there’s even a remote chance that the break-in could lead the perpetrator to Christ. Perhaps your church business card would suffice.

    -Raymond

  11. Jay says:

    I started with a fanny pack and I’ve moved on to a full blown man-bag (disguised as a messenger bag). Seriously though how unfair is it that men don’t get to carry something around to put stuff in, especially with a toddler in tow. I use it for juice-diapers-snacks, sunglasses/hat, leatherman, book-I’m-reading, (and some day my ipad!).

  12. I think you should lead the way. I need someone to follow here.

    The other day my wife and I were cleaning out my car. She saw all my change and decided we should use MY coffee-buying-change for our car vacuumings. Why not use her change. Because she has her change in her purse and doesnt save it like I do. If only I’d had a fanny pack…

    Buy one and I will wear one too.

  13. Susie Lipps says:

    Show us how it’s done, man! I say wear the fanny pack with pride!

    (Sucky about loosing your wallet and having to fix the window…)

  14. Jonn Alexander says:

    Oh man. Tough break. Well, when you get to San Francisco, let us know. We’ll take you to get some amazing dim sum to help rid your mind of this awfulness; I mean the break in AND you actually thinking of getting a fanny pack. Really? A fanny pack? Lol.

  15. shari says:

    Glad thats not going to be a common fashion accessory!

  16. trouble says:

    Wow, this bags are so beautiful.

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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