This is the day when Godís original ideal will be realized for the first time. This is the day when the dwelling of God is with men. God will be full of joy. His own son as perfected third Adam will initiate an entirely new history upon the earth. On that day, we shall become living images of God. God will bring his kingdom to earth.
Godís Hope for America, pg. 28-29
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them, he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be any crying nor pain any more, for the former things have all passed away. Behold, I will make all things new.
Revelation 21: 1-5
All people long to answer the question, "Why am I here?" Although many do not acknowledge that they long to answer it, everyone has this "existential search for meaning." Of course, the Divine Principle has much to say that helps one answer the question.
Does anyone remember the first line of the Divine Principle Book? It says that all individuals seek for happiness. This not the kind of happiness that many in our society pursue through attaining material wealth, careers, self centered love or even self centered family life. In fact, I believe that "happiness" may not be the best word to describe what the Principle means. (It seems I should learn Korean so I can read the original. Wait - Havenít I heard that a few times from Rev. Moon?) The word I would choose is instead of happiness is, "FULFILLMENT." True happiness can only come when one is fulfilled deep in his or her being.
We know that the Three Blessings is actually Godís plan for us to achieve total fulfillment and consequently happiness: This is expressed in the Bible, in Genesis 1:28, as "Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it." Applied practically to oneís life, this simple principle gives the most basic answer to the question, "Why am I here?"
Be Fruitful means, "develop myself to the utmost potential God gave me." Multiply means, "Multiply by having a family and descendants." Have Dominion means, "live in harmony with nature." Of course, Divine Principle greatly elaborates, including clarifying such ideas as True (as in True Family) and Perfection. But the simplified ideas I have just described are, in fact, the desire of all people. They have been my desire since I was a youth.
Since my teen years, I sought to answer the question, "why am I here," for myself. In earlier years, my search was not conscious; I didnít actually know that I was seeking for this answer. For one, I wasnít religious, having been raised in a good hearted but humanistic family tradition. But, I knew there must be some purpose for my life.
I knew the counter counter-culture of the day was not going in the direction of any purpose; I saw too many peopleís lives ruined by "sex, drugs and rock-and-roll." I also knew the materialistic American lifestyle was not the right direction either. After considerable reflection, and numerous experiences which spanned the globe, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of my life was to: Develop myself, have many warm personal relationships, have a family and live purely in nature. Sounds like the Three Blessings, doesnít it? But I came to these conclusions on my own.
I continued to live near the counter-culture life, but I saw no one moving toward the purpose I felt so strongly was my destiny. Amazingly, God shielded me from much of the worst evil that was destroying young people. For instance, my conscience told me that sex outside of marriage was not right. I didnít know why, but I knew. I went off to college, played in a rock and roll band and continued looking for clues to solve my dilemma: how to get from nowhere (the life I was living) to at least somewhere on the road to fulfilling my ideals.
In 1971 I met my wife to be, Loretta. Our first time together, we spent talking all night from 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM. We came to the conclusion that we both had the same vision: developing ourselves, and living purely in nature with a family. Overnight, I felt that I had found my "soul mate" Ė the one with whom I could fulfill my hopes and dreams. In 1972 we got married to fulfill our vision together. In 1973 we had our first child, bought land in the mountains and set out on the road to fulfill our dreams. We have often felt that we were "matched" directly by God. Later, Rev. Moon told us we were a "nice couple." To us, that was like saying, "I could have matched you!"
However, something was still missing, especially for Loretta. She still had an internal desire to know God; having been very spiritual and loving God deeply in her childhood. In 1973, shortly after our daughter Sarah was born, we met True Parents. In short, they showed us that our present course was not enough to get where we wanted to go. They taught me the answer to "why I am here" with a clarity I never imagined possible. I realized that my vision had always been Godís Vision: The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. I learned that my original mind had been teaching me directly.
So, the answer to "Why am I here?" became: "TO BUILD THE KINGDOM." Loretta and I enlisted in the effort to build that Kingdom 26 years ago. We have barely looked back since.
Over the years, God has given me a number of follow-up questions. If I am here to build the Kingdom, then at any given moment:
I have continued to come back to these at every level, year after year. They have formed the basis for my deepest and most personal prayers to Heavenly Father. If the answers were not "yes", then I knew I need to make a change, either inside myself, or in my circumstances. Most of the time, I worked on an internal change, a change in attitude. In a couple of instances, after an earnest look inward, I took the initiative to change my circumstances as well.
Over the years, Loretta and I have done it all: IOWC, Barrytown Training Staff, MFT, CARP with Tiger Park, UTS, Philadelphia Church Region, and ACC/AFC with Dr. Pak. All are precious experiences. And we have worked with many of you over the years. We appreciate and honor every person who has given of their young life to help God and True Parents build the Kingdom. Most of us have struggled through the years, but I believe that struggle is the catalyst for growth and change. An old friend of mine, who was an MFT captain for many years, said once in a sermon:
"Iíve worked with many perfect members over the years; theyíre all gone now. The only ones left are those of us who struggle all the timeÖ" Thatís because weíre the oneís who hang onto True Parents and the Principle, literally, for dear life.
The great 20th Century prophet, Woody Allen, (Iím joking!) said, "99% of success in life is just showing up!" But, thereís a little more to it, isnít there? There must be the right time and the right place prepared by God, then we can "show up."
The truly great 20th century lyricist, songwriter and teacher, Dan Fefferman (this time I mean it), told me recently, "Iíve come to the conclusion that I am grateful for what I have been given." How could I say it better myself?
For the last six years, I laid the foundation for a political run for the state legislature in Oregon, my home state. We ran a noble race, but ultimately lost, largely due to bigotry and persecution for our faith. But, we stood strong. 4,500 people voted for Henri Schauffler, 4,500 people changed their concepts about Rev. Moon and his people.
During the six years, I knew that God wanted us there. We didnít achieve the ultimate goal in the end, so recently I began praying on my questions again:
Sometimes God answers questions, not yes or no, but indirectly. Through a number of experiences the last month, the prospect of coming here to work with all of you in Washington gave rise to much more inspiring "YES" answers than the prospect of continuing to seek elected office in a now very difficult situation.
When asked what he thought, another modern day prophet, Mike Leone (hey, címon, I mean that!), said, "God must be calling Henri and Loretta to Washington."
There are several reasons why I feel that God is indeed calling Loretta and I to serve here in Washington. Firstly, we have been frustrated for years that there has been a huge disconnect between our church as a Family Church and Community Church and our Blessed Family membership. We have largely been a campaign church. I believe the campaigns are indeed the core of the Providence as True Parents are directed by God, but I also believe that we MUST build our church at the same time. It must not be either or, it must be both church and campaign together.
Secondly, I am very moved by Rev. Leeís approach; his vision to build a relevant church, his professionalism and his humility. I can say that, were it not for him, I would not have turned up very strong "yes" answers to my questions. Thirdly, there are more seasoned veterans of Kingdom building here in Washington than anywhere I can think of. Having worked side by side together, with so many wonderful memories, we feel considerable joy at the prospect of working together again. I think itís safe to say that True Parents have a great deal invested in this community.
I have great hope at the prospect of building a relevant church here in Washington; relevant to us, to our children, to our contacts and to our childrenís friends. Wouldnít you like a church that you could bring your next door neighbor or childís teacher to, and let them hear about the work of Kingdom Building in a manner that you can be proud of? Wouldnít you like a church that you children are so excited about that they want to bring their friends? Now, thereís a Kingdom Building vision that gets me going!
I feel that there is a new day dawning in our movement, a time of a thriving Family Church that inspires all, gives us hope and actually fosters Kingdom building. The place where it can begin is here in Washington, DC. The largest concentration of True Parents investment in American people power is right here. This is the right place, at the right time. As the little girl said in the film Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will comeÖ"
So, why am I here in Washington, DC, today? Anyone want to take a stab at the answer? Youíve got it:
TO BUILD THE KINGDOM
Iím here to build a Church! Iím here to build a church that builds the Kingdom!