Welcome home, brothers and sisters.
I came to Washington, D.C. on July 7. It has been just three weeks but I have met many brothers and sisters who gave me good ideas and good suggestions. But when I look at the members' situation, some of them have difficulties in their hearts and minds. I call this situation spiritual depression.
Before I came to Washington, I got a call from Rev. Yang, "You need to come to Washington." I was so shocked because I really wanted to stay in Los Angeles, to continue something I had been developing there. I wanted to finalize certain things, but Rev. Yang said it was Father's direction that I come to Washington. For several days I struggled. It was a kind of spiritual depression.
We all have various kinds of spiritual depression because we are spiritual beings. Therefore, if we don't overcome this kind of depression, we cannot survive and we cannot revive. Therefore, one key point to reviving is to overcome our spiritual depression. I would like to share several Bible quotations related to this. Brothers and sisters, in conclusion, spiritual depression is not a sickness unto death. Don't worry about your struggling. Through struggling we can reach another level in our life of faith.
Think about Elijah, the great prophet from the Old Testament. The Bible says that Elijah was the most passionate prophet in Israel. As you know, he brought many miracles. He competed with 850 prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel and he won. He prayed for God's presence on the offering, and fire came down, which the 850 false prophets of Baal couldn't do. After that Elijah had them all killed. When he died, he was caught up to heaven in a whirlwind.
Look again at the Bible. A queen of Israel threatened Elijah with death.
What would have been your response? Elijah had brought at miracle on Mt. Carmel, but at one word from Jezebel, queen of Israel, he was afraid and he ran for his life.
So I tell you that spiritual depression or struggle is not a big problem, a sickness unto death. What made Elijah run away? We need to know the cause of his spiritual depression, and based on that we can find how to solve our situation. Actually emotion controls the facts that surround us. He was afraid for his life and he ran away, and he felt he was the least. He was disappointed with himself. Emotion made him disappointed with himself.
Brothers and sisters, emotion is not fact. Jesus came to earth to save humankind. True Parents came to the earth and are teaching us. This is a real fact. Based on fact, we have to think about everything. Don't think about emotional things first, because sometimes emotion controls the facts. Don't automatically believe emotion first, especially if it separates you from the facts.
Secondly, in the Bible we read that Elijah compared himself to his ancestors, thinking that he was nothing and worthless compared to his ancestors. Once emotion controls, we compare ourselves unfavorably to others. That conclusion makes us more emotional. What I am saying is, our life of faith should be based on the fact that True Parents have come to save the world. Once we make a determination, we can even control our emotions. We can learn from how emotion controlled Elijah, and caused him to exaggerate negativity. He said to God, "I am the only one left." Was that true? No. God had prepared 7,000 people, but Elijah felt he was the only one left. It is so easy to feel that oneself is the most prepared, or most effective, but God has prepared many others as well. Once emotion controls, we start to exaggerate.
Next, because of his emotion Elijah started to become more critical and judgmental. When I was struggling about coming here, I examined my real situation and realized my selfishness. I wanted something which was not in God's plan. Finally I realized that the bottom line of my struggle was selfishness. Based on that, my judgmental and critical negativity started. Brothers and sisters, we need to look at the real situation honestly and we can find our self-centeredness or limited viewpoint.
Through his depression Elijah became a slave to his emotion. Brothers and sisters, believe belief, and doubt your doubt. Then we can get out of our emotional situation.
Another part of Elijah's situation was that his physical body was weak. Sometimes fatigue influences our spirituality. A sound body is important for a sound mind. As the Bible said, Elijah ran away and went all the way to Beersheba, so he was exhausted physically and spiritually. Elijah even prayed that he might die. An angel came and touched Elijah, saying, get up and eat and drink. God is amazing. He didn't push Elijah, who was spiritually depressed. God came to him and said, eat first. You need to recover your strength. This is God's love. The angel went to him twice. After that Elijah recovered his strength and could refocus on God's will.
So brothers and sisters, sound body, sound mind. I want to ask all of you to exercise, especially those with big bellies. If you don't exercise, probably you will not have sound minds. This kind of physical thing influenced Elijah to have spiritual depression.
Now let's think about how to resolve this kind of spiritual depression. First, offer all that depression to God -- our frustrations, anger with our spouse, resentment toward regional director. Then God will take it away. God said to Elijah, "What are you doing here?" God knew his situation. God knew his resentment and said to him, go out, stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.
What happened after that? Elijah saw a powerful wind, and then a big fire burned in front of him. Did Elijah meet God in that big event? No, not in the big wind or in the great fire. He met God in a gentle whisper, "Elijah, what are you doing here?" In that moment he met God.
Brothers and sisters, title is not important. Conferences are not important. They are important for God's providence, but the most important thing is to internalize our activity in our mind. You cannot meet God at some conference or in the big things. You can meet God in your heart. God will whisper to you. I'm not saying that Father's conferences are not important. I'm saying, let's internalize our activities of conferences and blessings in our mind. Please meet God in a gentle whisper. Based on that we can receive God's plan.
Elijah realized and accepted God's will. God said, go back the way you came. Elijah was given new direction and he determined to die for God.
After I realized my struggle, I determined in my heart that I would do something for Washington, D.C. I am really happy to work with Washingtonians. Determination made Elijah see the facts. He could find 7,000 people and he worked for God.
Brothers and sisters, we are spiritual beings. Therefore, spiritual depression is not sickness unto death, but just a sickness to overcome. Based on that we can hear God's voice. Jesus said, I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you cared for me. I was in prison and you visited me. That is God's love, True Parents' love.
Survival or revival. You have a choice. Let us revive ourselves, our church, our country together. Thank you so much. God bless you and your family. Let us pray.