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In Jin Moon's Sermon on May 17, 2009
Good morning, brothers and sisters. And good morning, West Rock and New Jerusalem communities. We are delighted to have you joining with us to celebrate here at the Lovin’ Life Ministries. Wasn’t that a great performance by the band? I want to know what love is, too, and I’m sure all of you want to know, experience, and live what love is all about. I remember having a very interesting and enlightening conversation with my youngest son when he was four years old. His name is Paxton; his Korean name is Shin Pyung, meaning faith and peace. We were looking through one of those Aesop fables stories and I thought, “Hmm, I wonder what a four-year-old’s definition of love might be. So I said, “Paxton, what do you think love is?” And he looked at me with these beautiful black eyes and said, “Love is what makes the heart move". I thought that answer was better than something I could come up with, and I said, “So why is love something that makes your heart move?” And he said, “I love you, Omma, and I want to hug you and I want to kiss you and I want to be with you. And my heart moves me to just want to be with you.” I thought, what an incredibly beautiful answer. Love is something that we all want as human beings; it is something that we strive for. I think a lot of you walked into this community because you understood Heavenly Parent’s definition of what true love is all about. My father has said over the years, “What is the true essence of true love? The essence of true love is unconditional. It’s a joyful love, and it’s a sacrificial love.” I am sure all of you have thought about this definition from time to time, as I have over the years. I find it to be quite significant when I think about my life and the lives of our community members. As someone who has given birth to five children and has experienced what a parental love is like, the kind of parental love that we have for our children is exactly the kind of love that God, as our parent, has for us. He loves us unconditionally, he loves us with a joyful heart, and he loves us with a sacrificial love in that he would be willing to sacrifice anything just to be with his children. When I look at the problems that I see around our world, such as broken families and difficult relationships, I see that people are the same regardless of what kind of an environment they come from in that they want to experience true love. But I have often seen, especially between a husband and wife, conditional love. Sometimes the wife may actually tally up points like, “What did my husband do for me, what did he not do for me? Did he bring me flowers on our anniversary? Did he bring me a gift on my birthday?” And the husband may say, ‘Well, “If my wife really, truly loves me, honors me, and respects me, then I want my breakfast at 7 AM sharp, I want my laundry done crisply, folded, and put away in drawers. I want our room to be immaculate and comfortable when I come back home from work.” Many times the husband and wife have expectations of each other and conditions set on each other that they would like the other spouse to fulfill. If you look at that situation, sometimes you wonder, “Why does all this tallying up of points result in a volcanic eruption?” It’s because each side, the husband or the wife, is wanting something from the other, not really thinking about what the other person might need. Instead, you should be more of a giver in that you want to take care of others without remembering what they did or did not do for you. As Father says, love is giving and forgetting you have given, meaning you are not tallying up the points of the performance of your beloved spouse. The relationship we have with God is the most precious thing in the world. And yet sometimes when it manifests in the family there can be an incredible amount of misunderstanding. When parents receive this beautiful
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bundle of delight they call their son or daughter; they have so much expectation, so many things they want their child to be. We try our best to guide our children through life and to help them become children of God. But what was once a beautiful bundle, starts developing a language of its own. At two years of age, it finds its sense of identity and begins to express its sense of self with the word No. And everything you ask the child to do, the answer is “No.” It’s an assertion of identity to the world; many times it’s directed toward the parents. As the child grows, and as the dynamic between parent and child becomes defined, a lot of friction may arise. In the midst of growing up, children might feel like the parents don’t understand them at all; in fact a child might feel nobody understands him or her and feel incredibly lonely, even in a huge family, in trying to find the self and understand where he or she fits in the scheme of things called life and this wonderful gift of a world called the universe. As the child struggles, sometimes he or she comes into conflict with the parents, and it’s a difficult battle. Sometimes instead of being grateful for having each other, there is a great deal of resentment and anger. I know that even within our own community many times the Second Generation looks upon the First Generation with absolute puzzlement. “How can Mom and Dad give up everything for God? How can my mom and dad continually sacrifice and invest in the movement while we don’t have food on the table? How can Mom and Dad be so crazy about mission work that they are never home?” As the child strives to understand all these things, sometimes he or she feels deep frustration and anger, and it’s very difficult to have a joyful heart. But a child must go through the growing period. Every one of us has gone through it or maybe some of us are smack in the middle of it, feeling like we are the loneliest people and the most misunderstood people in the world. But God is taking us through this process because sometimes we find God only when we feel like there is nothing left. We look toward trying to be someone better or reach something beyond what we are only when we feel like we have nowhere to turn. I grew up in a family where my father and my mother were 24/7 obsessed about preaching the word of God. Many times they were not home. As children, what do we want more than anything? We want to be with our parents all the time, and we want them to love us. From our point of view, it’s what we want, and we are not really thinking about what we really need. In my own life of faith I’ve struggled with that; it’s at times like that when I felt most lonely, most miserable, most frustrated, and most angry. Being in a public family, you cannot talk to anybody in confidence because once you say to your best friend, “I’m feeling really miserable; I’m feeling really lonely,” it literally goes around the world. I understand it’s out of love and concern that my friend mentioned to her parents, “In Jin is really struggling because her parents are not there and she feels so lonely and so miserable. It’s awful.” Maybe she said it out of love. But then the parents decide to go to the central figure: “Central figure, In Jin Nim is such a lonely, miserable child.” Then the central figure hears, this, “Oh my goodness, she is a miserable child” (the lonely is forgotten by now), and then it comes back to my parents, “In Jin is complaining because her parents are pathetic,” and the miserable part, the lonely part, and the frustrated part are forgotten. So you learn that if you are born into a public family, you cannot even easily convey your heart to anybody. So where do you go, who do you talk to when your parents are not there? That’s how I realized how incredible God, our Heavenly Parent, is. He is unchanging, he is eternal, and he is absolute. These are the attributes of true love that he shows me each and every day. So in my hour of darkness, when I had no one to turn to, I realized there was always somebody right there. There was God. And when I felt incredibly frustrated I realized that I only had to open my mouth and talk to God and I would be heard, understood, and loved. So from a very young age you realize that God is amazing, and then you realize that through his love, which is absolute, eternal, and unchanging, you are probably the luckiest girl in the world. Then you realize, “Not only am I the luckiest girl in the world, but the people sitting here are the luckiest men and women, brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters of God. And then you realize, “Oh my goodness, this is what it means to have a joyful love toward someone. You are so much indebted that you cannot help but be grateful.
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My father also teaches that the third essence of true love is sacrificial love. I think all of us in the room are no different in that the word sacrifice gives us shudders. It is not something that we look forward to. But then you look at how God loves us and how much he has suffered for us, sacrificing himself so that he can raise up an incredible man and women like True Parents who can for the first time in providential history substantiate this ideal family and move forward to engraft all of humankind into the true olive branch. What an incredible and awesome parent we have in God! When I think about sacrificial love and of my role as a mother, I know that I would do anything for my child. There is a wonderful story that is told over and over again in Korea. It’s a story about the relationship between a mother and a son. Traditionally in a Korean family, the eldest son is the most important of the children, and so the mother tries her best to raise up this son to be a great man of God. So this was a poor family. The mother used all her resources to be creative with very little. She always managed to prepare three wholesome and handsome meals for her son. The story talks about how even the place matting or the choice of a dish was done carefully because it was her devotional way of loving her son and hoping that he could become a great man of God. They had this little ritual once a week. The mother, having saved money all throughout the week, would go to the market and buy a little fish for them to share. The mother would roast the fish, maybe with a bit of sesame oil or maybe with a little bit of soy sauce. She would create a wonderful, succulent fish dish that the two would share. The mother would always cut the head off and serve the son the body or the filet part of the fish. After placing it on her son’s dish she would take the head of the fish and put it on her plate, and they would both enjoy the fish. Many years went by and the son did grow into an awesome man. He found a beautiful bride, and now they had a home. They looked forward to inviting his mother, so they prepared a feast. The son told the wife, “My mother likes this type of a fish; could you prepare it like this?”. So his beloved wife prepared a succulent dish. When the mother came, the son cut the fish just the way his mother used to do. He cut the head off and served it to the mother, and then he took the filet part and served himself and his wife. It was then that the mother broke into tears. The son said, “Mother why are you crying? I thought this was your favorite dish. You saved money for a whole week to buy this kind of fish, so why are you crying? Wasn’t the fish head your favorite part? You always served me the filet and served yourself the head.” Then the mother cried, “Aigo (meaning “Oi Veh” or “Oh my goodness”), don’t you know I gave you the filet because I wanted you to have the best part of the fish and I took the head fish because there was nothing to eat? I was an old woman and you were a growing boy. I wanted you to have the better.” And then the son realized what he had done, so he started crying, “Oh, Mother, I am so sorry. I had no idea that all during those years the reason why you have saved the money to go to the market once a week to buy the fish to prepare it with such devotion so that it would be so delicious and succulent and the way you served the fish was because you were thinking about me. I had no idea.” Then the son realized how immature he was to think that a mother would serve herself the best part. The mother always serves the child the best part, and that’s the heart of a sacrificial love. A friend of mine sent me an e-mail a while back in which he mentioned several times that it was Jesus Christ who really helped him get back on track and stay true in his relationship with God, our Parent. He said he saw an image of a beautiful slave woman, breast-feeding a white child who belonged to the slave master. Even though she knew that perhaps this master’s son would one day grow up to be a master of slaves himself and might become someone who would rape and abuse the black women in her community, the only thing she could see was the beauty of this child. As a mother with a sacrificial heart, she was breast-feeding this baby because she knew he was a child. And not only was she breast-feeding but also singing the Negro spirituals. She was singing from her heart, serenading him and nourishing him. She was loving this baby, but all the while
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her ankles were bound in chains. The image of this sacrificial love is what moved my friend to stay on track and stay true to his relationship with God because that is the kind of love God has for us. That kind of image is similar with an image in the mega-blockbuster movie Titanic. Everybody on board can see that there are not enough lifeboats. They know for certain that some people will live and some people will die. It is the sacrificial love of the mother, of a parent, that pleads with the people who have been chosen to go on a life boat, “Please take my child; please save my child,” even though she knows that she will perish, because she wants her child to live, to grow up, to experience the parental love that she has so enjoyed by having this child. She wants the child to experience the very same parental heart of God. So as sickening and as horrifying it is to know that the parents will die, there is still a sense of hope in the parents that even as they breathe their last breath of air, they die with a sense of hope knowing that one day their child can grow up and experience parental heart, which can only come about when we have children ourselves. My son sitting here is 16 years old. He is such a brilliant artist, but what I find him doing from time to time is drawing a portrait of a gorgeous woman. I say, “Truston, who is that?” And then he quickly puts it away and I say, “But it’s absolutely gorgeous. I wish I could meet her.” When you are a young man, you have so much love and so much passion, you are really dying to love somebody. You are always looking because you are desiring this thing called love. I think a lot of young people today misunderstand what true love really is. A lot of young people think that getting love from their hot boyfriend is true love. Maybe they have to sacrifice some of their own values to be that popular girl at school. They are always trying to find out, “How do I get what I want, how do I get the kind of validation that I need, how do I experience true love?” But, you know, I was once a teenager, too, and I remember my mother saying to me, “Anything worthwhile takes time.” When I heard her say that to me many years ago, it frustrated me even more. But then you go through your life and come to the same place your mother was, with children of your own. You are looking at your children, these incredible specimens of love, and you want the best for them. You don’t want them to have a broken heart; you don’t want them to have a broken future. You want them to have the ultimate experience of loving, honoring, and respecting another person who will love them eternally, unchangingly, with respect and honor. You want them to find such a relationship in their lives. And so here I am telling my 16-year old, “Anything worthwhile takes time.” I know he does not like to hear that because he is thinking, “Where is my ideal woman, now?” And I think every girl in the audience is thinking, “Where is my knight in shining armor? I want him now.” It is like one of the favorite movies that we like to see as a family. I’m well into my forties, but I still enjoy the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I love that part when Willy Wonka is saying, “Maybe you should not eat that blueberry gum because it’s not been completed.” But the girl keeps saying, “I want it now.” And she starts chewing and says, “Oh I can taste these fabulous flavors!” But she doesn’t realize that she is turning into a blueberry and that she is being engorged with blueberry juice. And I always say to my kids, “See? That is what happens when you eat something that is not ready?” Love is probably the most powerful force in the universe, and young people simply cannot wait to get on board. Think about when you want to bake a cake, a wonderful birthday cake for your mom, and you really want to do it with heart and devotion. You can’t be like I Dream of Genie, just snapping your fingers, and there it is. It takes a certain preparation of gathering ingredients and blending them together, cream, eggs, and so forth, and putting them into an oven and baking it. Our favorite dessert in our house is cheesecake. We love to bake cheesecake. But the kids know they have to wait a day before they can break into it and take their first bite because they want that first bite to be a full experience. So when we tell our children, “please wait a little; please be a little patient,” they would ask why. We tell them, “Please wait a little because during your growth period you don’t even know who you are. You are trying to understand who you are and you are trying to find your relationship in terms of where you stand with God, with
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your family, with the world. If you can’t put that into order, how can you invite another person into your life? It is a recipe for disaster.” There is a huge push when young people are in junior high school or just starting high school to go dating, to go partying, to lose their virginity so that basically they start looking at other human beings not as vessels of God with divinity in them, but as objects to conquer and to possess. . Father and Mother have so urgently, so vehemently, and so pleadingly asked young people, and their own children as well, to wait for the Blessing. When you want to drive a car, you have to go through a process of getting a license. Probably the most important license you can own is a marriage license, and therefore you have to go through a process of growth, of putting mind over body, of becoming aware of who you are as an individual and in relation to God as a divine vessel who is going to enjoy the privilege of loving another human being. That is why Father and Mother have asked us to wait. What they want us to have is not something half-baked. There is nothing worse than biting into a cake that is half-baked, nothing worse than a baked good that collapses onto itself. You want the full satisfaction, the full taste of what you are biting into. Our parents know, and God, our Heavenly Parent, knows that first love is probably the most powerful thing in the universe. They are asking us to consider how wonderful it will be to have that with another person who is going to honor, respect, and love you as a divine human being. The parents are not asking you to deny yourself, not at all. It is just simply the matter of delayed gratification, and then you can have it all. You can have a glorious relationship. You can be in love and create a wonderful family without having gone through the stages of having a broken heart, of divorce, of being abused by people who do not treat you right, and then winding up as somebody wounded, as somebody who needs a lot of taking care of. That is a job in and of itself, to take care of somebody who is wounded. So the only thing they are asking us to do is to wait to get the marriage license, this license to “drive”; you will have the recognition of not just yourself but your family and your community, and all generations can celebrate a new union. So instead of it being something selfish, the coming together as a husband and wife can be celebrated by everyone. How wonderful and incredible is that! So I know that when my 16-year-old is saying, “I want to know what love is,” maybe my son should think that there is a special somebody that God has prepared for him. The most important thing that he can do is to work on himself, work on becoming an internally as well as an externally excellent person. This means not just daily practicing what makes him into a great human being by practicing true love, but, at the same time, since he is so young, being the best in school. Be that class president, be that great artist, be the incredible mathematician or the future physicist who would make Einstein smile with great delight! You can be everything and anything that you want to be if you go through this process. So the most gorgeous jewels take time and care, like the beautiful pearl in an oyster. How does that pearl come to be? It’s made inside an oyster through an irritation caused by a grain of sand. So a lot of you might look at your parents as that grain of sand continually frustrating you, irritating you, telling you, “Don’t do this; maybe you should do that. Maybe you should wait.”. But it’s that grain of sand. Your parents that are going to turn you into a brilliant, one-of-a-kind pearl called you. A diamond is something that is truly rare and valuable, something that all the ladies would like to have sitting on their fourth finger on the day they walk down the aisle. It starts out from a piece of coal. It has a very humble beginning. After being hidden deep inside the earth core with thousands of pounds of pressure put upon it for thousands of years, the coal is slowly transformed into a diamond. And even when one finds a diamond, it is still rough. So the jeweler has to harvest it by cleaning it up, filing it, and polishing it before he can put it into a beautiful setting. So when your parents are asking you to wait, it is because they know you are going to be turning into a rare diamond that will one day showcase your commitment and your pledge to love another person eternally. Like
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the thousands of years of being in the earth’s core, you need to work things out as a family to create an ideal family. You are dealing with your parents, you are dealing with your brothers and sisters, you are dealing with your grandfather and grandmother, you are dealing with that nosy aunt of yours. All this pressure that they put upon you is actually helping you transform yourself into a diamond. It is your family, God, and True Parents who will polish you into this rarity. You will commit yourself to that other person for the rest of your life, enjoying the gratification that comes with waiting, enjoying the satisfaction of a bite into something fully baked, fully matured, so unlike the dissatisfaction that you feel when you bite into a fruit that is not ripe. As much as I love a banana in the morning, sometimes when it’s too green, it leaves an aftertaste. So having a premature relationship may be like biting into an unripened banana, because you can not escape the aftertaste that lingers on forever. So please wait, please be grateful, and please practice the three things that are the essence of true love in your family: honoring your parents, taking care of your brothers and sisters, and loving all those around you truly in a sacrificial way. Show your parents you love them by taking out the trash before your mama asks you to, doing the dishes before you mama finishes her last bite on her dinner plate, or making that extra special something like a dessert to surprise you father with. If your father is a chocoholic, well, then, you have your homework done. You can create a lovely chocolate éclair or a chocolate cheesecake or anything chocolate to put that smile on your father’s face and grow your gratitude so that you are not always wanting something from your parents. The difference between a mature person and an immature person, between a child and an adult, is that when a child does something, he or she wants to be recognized. When a child cleans up the room the first thing that the child says is, “Mommy, come and see my room.” When the child does the dishes, the first thing is, “Mother, come here and look at the dishes,” or if it is taking out the trash, it’s “Mother, I took out the trash. Can I have another Pokémon card?” You know that the child is maturing nicely when the child simply does all those things without seeking recognition. But you know what as parents, we always know and we always notice the things that our children do. But even if we don’t recognize what they have done, they are still happy just because they have had an opportunity to do something to make the place a little bit more beautiful. It is inheriting the habits or the practices that are learned within the family that truly turns you into the kind of person that can welcome another human being as a spouse to love. So don’t ever think that you are being denied anything when your parents say, “Please don’t go to parties, please don’t do drugs, please don’t have sex.” They are not denying you; they are not saying you can’t do these things. They are simply reorienting you, saying “Maybe these things are not good for your growth. Look at all the things that you can do. You can be an incredible daughter of God if you can forgo drugs. You can be an incredible student, an incredible artist, an incredible anything, and you can rule the world in the artistry that God has given you when you were born, when you were this bundle of delight that all of us once were.” So I hope that the young people in the audience can understand delayed gratification, which is just waiting for that special something on that special day. It is like waiting for a birthday to come around the next year and anticipating receiving a birthday gift that you have worked so hard for all year.. Wouldn’t you, on that day, want to receive the gift beautifully packaged. Maybe you are waiting for a laptop like the way my 16-year-old boy was on his birthday. I saw the look on his face when he opened up the gift. It was just like, “WOW! AMAZING.” Now imagine if he turned on the computer and found out it was broken or if it was used and something was not functioning. If you don’t wait for this special day, your heart may be broken. When you are broken-hearted, you can’t trust. When you can’t trust, it’s very difficult to love because to truly love somebody you have to be absolutely vulnerable in every sense of the word. You have to be able to open up your heart without any fear. I know that from having counseled many couples in the past and from talking to my colleagues who come to me for marital advice, the greatest thing that can destroy a marriage is fear. This is what, as parents, we would want our
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children to avoid because this fear of failure, the fear of being broken hearted, the fear of being hurt many times is actually a hindrance to the ability to love. So when your parents ask you to wait, they want you to wait for that special somebody who believes in God as our Heavenly Parent who understands the essence of true love. It is not about what I can get; it is really about living for the sake of others. It is about what we can do for the other person. And if the other person coming into your life understands that, then you won’t be opening a birthday gift that has something broken or something missing so you have to go and buy another part. You will be starting with something that is ready to go; something beautiful, something whole. So, young people in the audience, please wait to receive that incredible laptop. When you grow up, God wants to give to you a new laptop. Even better than a laptop is a person, a walking, talking, and breathing, and loving person. So, brothers and sisters, we have come from all different walks of life. I see a lot of First Generation here. Many of you joined this community because you wanted to build on this essence of true love by practicing living for the sake of others, by practicing and applying these three loves: unconditional love, joyful love, and sacrificial love. As we move forward together in this journey of life, rest assured that you are not alone. Just as you are dealing with your ideal family, so am I, and so is he, and so is she. Let’s not forget that the goal is to build ideal families so we can build an ideal society and ideal world where we can enjoy these incredible fruits without fear, without violence, without hurt and pain. That is definitely something to look forward to. One of my favorite poets is the Sufi mystic Rumi. I’ll share with you one of his poems that tends to be my favorite. He talks about this one light emanating from one source. That one light is our Heavenly Parent, who is always emanating of himself and hoping that we can be charged into his brilliance, that we as beautiful light bulbs can truly glow, brilliantly sharing in his light by being connected to the divine. Then we can gaze into his ageless eyes and taste the beauty of true love. Rumi often liked to say to his followers, “If you are irritated by a little rub, how are you ever going to polish your mirror?” This is the mirror that we are going to reflect as the face of God. We have a lot of Japanese and Koreans in the audience. I remember when we were growing up, we used to receive Divine Principle lectures from this incredible Yoda-like figure called Reverend Sudo. He is absolutely awesome. He would give passionate Divine Principle lectures about true love, but whenever he said “true love,” it sounded like “true rub.” So we always thought, “Okay after the lecture, we are going to truly rub each other.” That was our ongoing joke. In remembrance of Rumi, don’t be irritated by a little rub, the rub from your parents saying, “Wait a little bit, try reorienting yourself this way, try to be grateful, try to be sacrificial.” Don’t be irritated, but laugh about it together. Maybe perhaps on your way back home you can truly rub each other in the car or on the street or during the day or when you are doing the dishes together and know that you are truly rubbed by your Heavenly Parent. So, brothers and sisters, have a wonderful week, have a wonderful day and go gloriously, truly, rubbing each other. Thank you.
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