by Rev. Young Hwi Kim
March 10, 1985
This morning I'd like to speak about the relationship between our attitude and our experience. In our daily life we have many different experiences. For instance, our behavior varies depending on whether we wear dress clothes or casual clothes. When you wear casual clothes you can behave as you like, but when wearing a suit your behavior is limited. You cannot behave like a teenager, but must keep your dignity and behave nicely. You must act in harmony with what you are wearing. Imagine you had a medal that was given for service to your nation. How would you behave if you went out with your medal pinned on your suit? Your behavior would be even more controlled, because everyone would see your medal and expect you to behave accordingly. Likewise, if we truly believe we are children of God, from the bottom of our hearts, then how should we behave? This would be even more important than wearing a medal of honor.
Since the beginning of human history all men have been separated from God. Mankind has lived without God for tens of thousands of years and continues to do so. Thus even though we claim to believe in God, as a result of the influence of our ancestors and the people around us, it is very difficult to remember that we are His children. Upon joining our church we say we are God's children and pledge to fulfill our responsibility as such, but we often forget this. Many bad things can happen when we forget we are God's children. Sometimes we are depressed or frustrated. If we examine the reasons, we usually find that we left our position as God's child. When we forget we are sons and daughters of God and leave our position we easily get depressed. This is usually where our depression comes from, but we are often not aware of it.
When we first hear the Divine Principle we receive much grace from heaven. You may have felt that the whole world appeared new, that all the birds and trees seemed to be joyfully celebrating your new life. We often feel this. Actually we learn from the Divine Principle that God made the whole creation for man and that man should live in harmony with the creation and receive joy from it. This is what God originally planned; whenever you experience nature it should give you joy. We should feel joy simply by seeing the plants, flowers, birds etc. Man's life should have been enriched in this way. But when we are preoccupied with our troubles and hardships we cannot see the beauty of nature, nor receive any joy from it.
In times of war people can endure all manner of hardships if they have a clear goal. People who believe in their goal can persevere in the midst of all difficulties. But once they discover their nation has been defeated, they lose all hope and decline. So even when our external circumstances improve, if we do not have a dear goal or purpose in life, our life will be miserable, sometimes even tragic. Thus we can understand how important it is to have a clear goal, especially a noble goal. Then our whole life can be changed.
In the beginning of our life of faith we have a clear goal and are confident that God is working with us; we know that God's providence will be fulfilled and work hard for that. When we are confident of this we can be very active; we have much power and can persevere through all difficulties. In those days, our surroundings or external circumstances may have been more difficult than now, nevertheless if we lose our sense of purpose now, we will encounter many difficulties and won't be able to persevere. Our life of faith should help us understand that we are children of God and that our goal is to fulfill God's providence. That is the purpose of our life of faith.
We go to church in order to hear God's words; we must hear Father's speeches and study Divine Principle. These things aim at keeping us aware of the fact that we are sons and daughters of God. The purpose of attending church services and studying God's word, the Divine Principle, is to plant the awareness of being connected to God in the depths of our heart and mind. After several years of church membership, your consciousness of being God's child should be even deeper and stronger than it was initially. In many cases, however, the contrary is true; you lose the feeling of being a child of God and thus lose confidence. This shows that something is wrong in our life of faith.
Yesterday Heung Jin Nim told us we should remember how we and our lives were changed by receiving True Parents. What would have happened to us if we hadn't met our church? We must consider this. Some members feel that they encounter increased difficulties now because they interrupted their studies or quit their job back then. But we should remember that our physical life ends upon entering the spirit world. We shouldn't be preoccupied with our present situation, but had better consider the time when we leave our physical body.
Most people pass away around the age of 70 or 80. Before they go they reflect upon their life and many regret that they never had a clear goal in life, that they didn't know the purpose of life. Since most people haven't heard the Divine Principle they don't know God's truth and therefore have regrets. Of course you haven't experienced this yet, nor have I; we still have many years to go. But you can imagine that when you die, you will think about your past and you may have regrets. You may feel, "Now my life is through. I experienced many things and upon reflection I realize that if I had done this instead, my life would have been better. If I could be born again I would live differently."
This is what most people feel. Of course, some don't even think about this, they just enter the spirit world. But if the person is conscientious and able to think clearly, he will probably feel this way. But we know about God and the spirit world and we know the Divine Principle. If we really understand the Principle, we recognize the importance of our physical life and can lead a life that we won't regret. We cannot repeat our life on earth, so it is essential that we live a life we won't regret. We have been given this chance and those who join our church at a young age are given even more of an opportunity to accomplish this. It is very difficult to change at the age of 50 or 60; one has lived so long that there is little time left to make up for past mistakes. But if you join at a young age you have plenty of time to change your life and make up for your past.
I joined when I was twenty-six. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to me if I hadn't joined our church. I can imagine many tragic things happening in my family, a divorce or some such thing. But because of our True Parents and the Divine Principle we know about the importance of the family. Some people have lovers or mistresses which causes all kinds of problems in their family. True Parents taught us to change this and lead a good family life. When we don't have a good family our children suffer. Children always suffer when their parents divorce. This could be prevented in our families because we joined the church.
Another important point is that you don't know how long you would have lived if you hadn't joined our church. You might have died at a young age; you never know. Even though you may have had a poor destiny, God could change it and give you a longer life because you were needed for His providence. Sometimes when you struggle you may feel, "I wouldn't experience such difficulties if I hadn't joined the church." But you can never be sure; you may have had even greater problems to deal with. You might even have passed away already.
We know that our thinking affects our fortune. If you are always pessimistic, bad things will happen, whereas if you are optimistic good things will happen. So your thinking alters your destiny. Of course it takes time, but it happens. Oriental philosophy teaches that mans' destiny is determined by the time and circumstances of his birth, but that he can alter it to a certain degree by his attitude or way of thinking. Our future is always uncertain. Although fortunetellers are able to tell us about our past they can never definitely foretell our future because it is dependent on so many variables; it isn't fixed. Then how is it determined? According to our way of thinking and our belief. Whenever we do something there are two possibilities: failure or success. We must find a way to ensure success; that is the secret of good fortune. If we make the wrong decision or the circumstances aren't right, we can easily fail. Naturally we want to succeed.
The possibility of failure is always present. But you will never advance if you are so afraid of failing that you cannot make decisions or take action. You cannot remain stationary. Therefore we, especially young people, should not fear failure. This doesn't mean you should be indifferent to failure, but that you shouldn't be afraid of it. If we accept failure as something natural, that happens to everyone, then we can manage. Defeat is a common thing for soldiers. We have a saying: Defeat is a common thing on the battlefield. When we have this attitude we can overcome our failures and be victors. We must learn from our failures, using the knowledge gained to succeed the next time. We shouldn't repeat our mistakes, but learn from them; then we can improve ourselves and reach our final goal.
We must reach our final goal. We will surely make many mistakes along the way; we will encounter both success and failure. When we reflect on our past we recall many experiences. We must learn from them; then we can improve ourselves and be successful. This is the way to become true sons and daughters of God. We must develop the awareness that we are truly a son or daughter of God. If we keep this in mind, we will surely live as children of God wherever we go. Otherwise, we will probably drift away from God. This is why it is so important to hear True Parents' speeches and Jesus' and Heung Jin Nim's messages. They remind us that we can be like them and of the importance of our life here on earth. If we live as God's children on earth, we can be eternally free in the spirit world.
Recently we heard that Father declared another holy day: The Day of the Opening of Heaven. Father declared this day while in Danbury. It commemorates the opening of a highway of light to the Kingdom of Heaven. Father's effort has made it easier for people to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Actually God's purpose in sending the Messiah is to open the way for people to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the reason He sent Jesus Christ and later our True Parents. Although our True Parents' indemnity course has made it easier for us, we must still fulfill the condition to enter the Kingdom of Heaven: we must become their children. Otherwise we won't be able to receive their merit. This is the benefit of becoming children of God and True Parents. Other people will receive nothing because they have no relationship to True Parents.
Our goal is to become God's children, we should never forget this. Initially we must make effort but eventually we should feel that we are God's children without making a conscious effort; it should come naturally. If the first human ancestors hadn't fallen, they would have lived together with God and felt that they were His children. Their descendants would also have felt they were God's children. It should be natural to think and behave as God's children, but throughout human history man has struggled to think and act this way. It is difficult for us to feel we are God's children and live accordingly. Satan is always trying to draw us away from God. So unless we make great effort we cannot achieve our goal. Even when we are given this position, we cannot maintain it without great effort. So we must always keep our goal in mind.
Every morning we pray to God. What is the purpose of our prayer? It is to confirm that we are children of God. In the morning and before going to bed you reconfirm this in prayer. We should reflect upon this and develop a natural awareness that we are children of God. We must make constant effort and ultimately be able to claim that we are truly God's child. If we are always aware that we are God's children, our life will change completely; it will become the life of a true child of God. Our way of thinking determines everything.
Our motto for 1985 is to witness with God's truth and our lives. We must testify to God through our daily lives. Truth alone is not enough; we must witness to people through our lives. This is the most effective way. Words alone are not powerful enough. If we witness through our lives though, everyone can accept what we say.
Let us pray together:
Our Heavenly Father, we really want to become your true children. You want us to be your children and we want to be your children. If there were no opposition, we could easily become your children. But throughout fallen man's long history, our enemy Satan has been working to separate us from you. Consequently mankind is separated from you and it is difficult to become your true children. You sent us your son Jesus to help us regain our proper position. You gave us your words through him, but many people didn't accept them. And through Satan's work, Jesus couldn't say everything he wanted to say to the people and as a result your restoration providence could not be fulfilled at that time.
Ultimately you were able to send our True Parents and express your truth fully. Despite each one's desire to become your child, many people don't want to listen to our True Parents. As a result they cannot find a way to become your children and continue to suffer under Satan's dominion. We were able to return to you because of our True Parents and are now trying to become your true children. It is difficult to live as you want us to because we live in a satanic world, surrounded by fallen people. We must pray and try hard to change our past lives. We must change our heart and way of thinking and develop the awareness of being your children. When this consciousness is rooted in our being, we can live a life of goodness. Until then we must work hard to develop an unchanging relationship with you. When we achieve this we will be safe and can claim to be your true children. Father, we look forward to that day. We ask you to guide each one of us, so that we can become your true children and enjoy our lives together with you.
Our True Parents are working hard to widen the path and make it easier. They are suffering in order to accomplish this. We must be grateful to them and try to inherit everything they have to give us. They will be happy and satisfied when we do so. They will really be our True Parents and we will be their true children. We pray for them and the fulfillment of your providence, Father. Please be with all who are trying to become your true children. Bless them in everything they do for you that they can bring good results and return joy to you.We pray all this in the name of our True Parents. Amen.