by Rev. Young Hwi Kim
December 16, 1984
I'd like to begin with a Korean story this morning. A long time ago there was a stubborn old couple who were so stubborn they would never give in to one another. One day there was a festival in the village and they received a piece of cake as a gift. It was nice cake, but too small to divide and share. Only one of them could have it, and of course they both wanted it. They couldn't decide who should have it. Finally the old man had an idea, "Let's stop speaking from now on. The one who speaks first loses and the other one gets the cake. " The wife agreed, so they closed their mouths and didn't speak from then on.
Later that night a burglar came to their home. Peeping through a small hole, he saw the old man and woman sitting together in silence. He opened the door. They both saw him, but neither of them said a word. Then the burglar stepped into the room. Still they didn't speak. The burglar assumed they were blind, so he entered the room and began to search through their wardrobes, drawers and cabinets. Still they didn't speak. He found their valuables, wrapped them into a bundle and went off carrying them over his shoulder. The wife couldn't stand it any longer and shouted angrily, "We lost everything because you didn't speak out! " The husband then shouted with glee, "You spoke first! The cake is mine."
What do you think of the characters in this story? You probably think they are quite foolish. But they are no more foolish than we. Do you know why I say this? Sometimes couples fight over unimportant things because of their pride, their arrogance or their selfishness. And when they fight they lose the most valuable things in life: peace, happiness, love and kindness; everything. Sometimes couples don't speak to each other after a fight. This not only happens to husbands and wives, but to brothers and sisters as well. We fight over trivialities, unaware that we are losing more important things in the process. The burglar in this story represents Satan, who comes to rob us of our peace, our happiness and our ideals. He is successful when we don't have deep communication with one another. People expect the other side to apologize first after a fight. Or they speak to each other just to keep up appearances, but not from the heart. We call ourselves brothers and sisters, but we often don't speak to each other. We may speak externally, but not from our hearts. If we continue like this, we'll lose everything just as the old couple in the story did.
Why couldn't the old couple unite? Why did they fight? They couldn't put themselves in the other's position, but thought of themselves as separate individuals. But husband and wife are not separate, they are one. If either the husband or the wife had said, "I don't want the cake, you have it," it wouldn't have mattered who ate the cake. How can we break down the walls of self? This is our task. We must expand ourselves to embrace our spouse, our children and our brothers and sisters. We are one family. We eat, work and do various things together every day; this is training to become one. If we don't make effort to unite, but just work together, nobody will benefit. The other day an older member told me about the situation when the leadership changed here. The former leader and the new leader couldn't really speak to each other. They were polite, but in reality they were more like enemies. He said that the atmosphere was very tense. Seeing this, how could the members follow their leaders' directions? Their words and behavior were contradictory.
We call ourselves a family. What constitutes a family? The relationship between its members: father and mother, parents and children, and brothers and sisters. Ideal children feel and share their parents' joy and sadness. If they don't share their parents' heart, they cannot be called good children. This is essential. Moreover if we can't respond to the feelings of other members, how can we call ourselves a family? For instance, if a brother is sad and we aren't concerned or don't take care of him, we cannot consider ourselves his brothers and sisters. We should share our feelings of joy and sadness. Then we can call ourselves a family. It's easy to say we're united, but if we don't share our hearts, it's not true. It is important for us to open our hearts. We need sincere communication with one another. This applies to our relationship with God as well. We must speak from our heart. It is our task to create this atmosphere. No matter how long we have been a member, it won't mean anything if we can't create this atmosphere.
Starting from each couple, we must build one world family. If husband and wife cannot unite with each other, they cannot unite with other people. Couples should achieve the deepest unity. The blessed family is the basic and most important unit of God's ideal. Husband and wife must create harmony and unity. The basic goal for every couple is to have true unity. It might be easier for people of the same nationality to achieve this. A couple which comes from France and Germany, for example, will probably find unity more difficult to achieve than two Germans. If the couple comes from the Orient and the Occident, it is probably even more difficult. They may not realize it in the beginning, but by living together they will gradually discover their differences. If they can achieve harmony before this, the differences won't matter so much. Unity is easy when they are unaware of their differences. But genuine harmony and unity can only come after the differences and the resulting problems have been confronted and resolved.
I recently read about Europeans who had studied in the Orient. As students it was easy for them to mix with Japanese and Koreans. But when they returned to the Orient after becoming professionals and leaders in their own countries, they experienced difficulties they hadn't encountered the first time. After taking responsibility in their own countries and gaining experience, they found it difficult to unite with Orientals. That wasn't a bad thing though, because they had matured and could see how different the two cultures were. That was actually a step of development. When they overcame the difficulties, genuine unity and harmony followed.
We must also go this way. Our goal and God's desire is a united world, not a partially united world. Eastern and Western culture must unite. There are many international couples in our church, they are pioneers of the ideal world so we must help them overcome. Their problems are not theirs alone, but the world's problem, God's problem and our problem. If we don't become people of deep heart, it will be very difficult to overcome all the differences and difficulties and bring about unity and harmony. Heart is of utmost importance. With a deep heart we can tolerate and accommodate others thereby overcoming any differences. How can we become a man of deep heart? We should develop this in our childhood. If we experience an ideal family life with ideal parents, our hearts will naturally develop in the proper way. But we cannot go back and alter our childhood; that chance is gone. We must try to develop our hearts even at this late stage. It is difficult but we have to try.
When I visit Korea, sometimes I ask spiritualists about certain members who have difficulties. I find out many things. But there are often things I can't tell the member, because I don't know if he can accept them. Spiritualists don't just find good things, they uncover ugly things as well. Sometimes the truth is difficult to accept. If I tell the member and he can't accept it, his situation may become even worse. Of course I ask the spiritualists to pray for the person and his ancestors, but in order to solve the problems completely the person must understand and make effort. This isn't easy though. We don't know who our ancestors are or what they did in the past. It's difficult to accept everything; only when we have a deep heart can we accept, digest and overcome everything.
A deep heart begins with a deep understanding of others. To develop such a heart we must neglect ourselves. Naturally it's difficult to disregard our own desires, but there is no other way. We must think of others first. God's ideal is a world of people with mature hearts. We should feel as God feels and see as God sees. This doesn't come easily, we must go through intense training and overcome many difficulties. Our spiritual desires and physical desires are always in conflict. We must overcome our physical desires, otherwise we cannot grow. We encounter many tests. We are always tested before passing to a higher level. In the academic world we have to pass tests to enter high school and university. Likewise in our spiritual life we also have to pass tests before advancing to a higher state. There are many different kinds of tests: tests of knowledge, faith, ability, patience, heart, personality and financial tests. We must pass them all. Sometimes various tests come simultaneously in order to raise us quickly. By passing these tests you can advance to a higher level. While Father is in prison, our faith can be tested. Those with weak faith may wonder how the Messiah could go to prison. It was the same in Jesus' time. Many people wondered how Jesus could be crucified if he was the Messiah and lost faith as a result of their doubts. Of the many tests we encounter though, the most important is the test of heart. The prime factor in determining someone's value is his heart. Of course, if two people have equally deep hearts then the one with more knowledge is better. Best is to have a deep heart and much knowledge. But knowledge alone isn't so valuable. Most important is to be a man of deep heart. Nowadays too much emphasis is put on external things and not enough on the aspect of heart.
We don't want to be like the old couple in the story, sacrificing valuable treasures for the sake of something unimportant. We must understand what is important and what is not. We must have the courage to reject minor things for the sake of something valuable. Our pride may make this difficult; sometimes we have to disregard our pride and our image. We may want to do something in order to save face, but that is wrong. Sometimes dignity and honor can be our enemies. Of course we want to maintain our honor and dignity, but when they hinder us from gaining more important things we must have the courage to disregard them. We should develop good relationships in our couples and among brothers and sisters. If we can't achieve this in our family, we can never succeed anywhere else. We believe in the same truth and claim to have the same True Parents, so we should be able to create good relationships here. We should ask God for the wisdom to realize what is important and what is not, for the courage to follow the right direction and for His heart so we can be like Him, embodying His heart and love.
Let us pray together:
Our loving Heavenly Father, we came before you this morning to learn from you. You created us to become your image, your physical body by inheriting your sung-sang and hyung-sang nature. Because of the fall, however, we couldn't inherit your internal nature and external form. We suffer in our struggle to overcome the evil elements resulting from the fall. We hope that by overcoming them we can inherit your heart, love, wisdom and courage thereby regaining our original position as your sons and daughters.
Father, we want to build your ideal family on earth. To do this we must become your true children and all mankind must become true brothers and sisters. Then we can establish your Kingdom of Heaven on earth. We call you our Father, but if we don't become your children, we are not qualified to call you Father. We sincerely want to become your children, your sons and daughters. Father, most important is that we inherit your heart. Of course we need to know the truth, but the truth isn't everything. Through the truth we want to discover and inherit your heart, then we can be your children.
Father, our True Father is now in Danbury. We want to feel as you feel towards him. We want to share your feelings of sadness and joy. Father, let us walk with you all the way to our final destination, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. We want to do everything we possibly can to achieve our goals. Father, there are many things we couldn't fulfill in the past. We ask your forgiveness; we want to start again with a new spirit. We need your guidance and help so that each one of us can fulfill our mission and accomplish our goals.
We pray all this in the name of our True Parents. Amen.