Seeing as the Bible enjoins us to remember and reflect, I’ve scratched some notes on one of my ideapads and came up with the top ten memories of 2007. These memories have given me strength in times of lack as well as wisdom on how to make 2008 better for myself, those around me, and in my service to the Lord.
10. CAMPUS Leadership Retreat – This weekend was most memorable with the attack of the mutant mosquitoes. I’ve never experienced the lingering effects of trauma and fear until that weekend when I thought every piece of dust flying around was about to attack me.Bloodsucking aside, the weekend was an opportunity to present being and doing again. Interestingly, I learned that weekend that sometimes God chooses speakers and presenters to speak on topics that they themselves need to hear the most. It’s my favorite topic: Being in Christ as opposed to Doing in Christ. The best leaders are those “are.” I want to be a better leader.
9. 06-07 Missionaries Graduation – Seeing this batch graduate was quite an experience for me. Though the events of that weekend were mild and even ritualistic, the thought that this group would then go out, teach all nations, and baptize for Christ was an awe-inspiring lesson.
I think I grew most just watching to this team. They taught me diligence, sensitivity, and most of all resparked my love for Scripture. I don’t know why the Lord brought these talented individuals here and why He made me direct them in such finite ways, but I’m sure the annals of heaven will record that I benefited all the more in the end. I want to be a better teacher.
8. Michigan Camp Meeting – I didn’t know a group of men could be this dedicated to Christ. It was surely a privilege to be working hard with other pastors. I didn’t think a group of pastors would be this much fun either.
Working with the high school team was also a privilege. A brotherhood of like-minded jokers who love the Lord were willing to be fools for
Christ in front of a hundred high school students. Never did I think I’d be with white and black people this way. =p These were real Christian men. I want to be a better man.
7. New in Ministry – For the first time in a long while I felt a certain camaraderie with the rest of the newbie pastors. I’ve always resisted the call to become a pastor, but attending these meetings, I definitely felt at home. I was assured that God was continuing to mold my life, lead my way, and teach His paths. I don’t know if pastoral ministry is my calling, but I know I need to be in some place of ministry. Seeing these guys submit themselves to the Lord and serve their local churches was tremendously encouraging. I want to be a better servant.
6. Leaving Detroit Korean – I didn’t think it would be hard, but I didn’t know that that would have been the last time engaging with young people on a regular basis. I thought about what things could have been done better, what moments I made an idiot and jerk of myself, and what lessons I deeply learned. I won’t know the fruits of my labor, but I know that someone else will come to harvest it for sure. I want to be a better mentor.
5. Generation of Youth for Christ, Minneapolis – To be honest, I have had a hard time enjoying GYC’s in the past. The fellowships were great, but the events themselves were more things to do. This was one of few conventions that I enjoyed, spiritually received some benefit from the speakers, and had a good time fellowshipping, especially on my birthday (except someone singing in the large cafeteria room.) I learned that though you may be working for the Lord, it’s not bad to enjoy it either. I want to be a better friend.
4. Korean Camp Meeting – I loved camp meeting this year as it holds a very special place where many of my old Andrews gang and I got to work together. I’m rarely a reminiscent person, but I had multiple flashbacks of Sophia’s House of Pancakes, Friday Night Bible studies, Living Springs, and previous other camp meetings.
I also got to preach to my fellow Koreans. I have such a burden for them. At this rate, I’m afraid none of us will be saved. I’m filled with dread that I may be held accountable for not reaching my fellow brothers and sisters that I love. I believe this year was one step in a better direction. I want to be a better Korean.
3. Parents at Battle Creek Korean – My parents heard me preach for the first time in Korean and English. They actually said they received a blessing – not in the usual parental way either. That weekend, we all shed some tears and talked honestly about our problems. They saw me no longer as a son, but as a pastor and revealed their marriage problems, spiritual struggles, and their pains of human existence. We ended with prayer and their spiritual acknowledgment and surrender to my unique calling. I want to be a better son.
2. Short Film Directing – Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought to become a director. But the fact I was able to use my creativity and artistic ideas for God was a liberating feeling that I never experienced before. Then to see a product that not only is aesthetic, but also pragmatic made me fulfilled in a very unique way. I want to be more creative.
1. Wedding – Not mine, but I got to marry two dear friends of mine as well as be their reception host. I don’t know what the experience was like for them or the attendees, but I felt the presence of God at that ceremony. It wasn’t just a ritual — to be in the symbolic place where God stood when He married Adam and Eve was so….hm…wow. In this day and age when love is so overrated, commonized, perverted, demonized, cynicized, and commercialized, seeing the real, principled, emotive, and organic side to natural love was so no-adjective-describable. I truly want to be more loving.
2007 was a rough year. But diamonds are always found in the rough. Thanks God for a good year and to those who made the experiences