Once a week, the college interns allocated some time to reflect individually on a specific chapter of the book of John. After writing their personal questions, thoughts, and interpretations, they would reconvene into two groups to share and record their collective findings. Later, they all came together and discussed as a group consisting of all the college interns and Reverend Simon. Here are some of their reflections:
Book of John Reflections
Following the Signs
The main theme of the gospel of John is “creation”. In the bigger picture, Rev. Kim talked about how each of us as creations of God have our own unique calling. Rather than focusing on finding what it is, just go with however he leads you, and at the end of the day, you will find out that his guidance was to lead you to what you were called to do. Until then, just follow the signs and enjoy your life.
Regret or Uncertainty
John talked a lot about the way we live our lives; how we make decisions, how we deal with uncertainty and regret, and what kind of lives we want to lead. He related the 12 disciples to us in the sense that they died not knowing anything for sure, but they died with hope and faith in God. They embarked on this journey with God not knowing what will happen and possibly regretting it but they did, and they lived very full lives. This relates a lot to the way I live my life, because as I shared in our discussion, a main factor that plays in my decision-making process is the possibility of regret. I tend to make decisions based on whether or not I’ll regret it, and I tend to avoid uncertainty. But today after talking to In Kee Moksanim, I saw the role that uncertainty and conflict plays in my life and how those things may have been part of a bigger plan.
To Be Born Again
Today’s session had me thinking a lot about the different kind of life we could live if we were born again/born from above. We tend to dislike being exposed and I know for a fact that I’m the same. Like Simon told us, the light in a room exposes things; without the sunlight you think the room is clean, but once the sun shines through a window, you can see all the dust that has accumulated and the dirty parts of the floor. I think that a lot of the times, it’s because we don’t like being vulnerable. We don’t want to accept who we really are, for several reasons. I tend to conceal myself away because I don’t like being vulnerable. I don’t want to acknowledge my flaws and the things that are wrong with me. And, I guess part of it is because I don’t think that others will accept me for who I really am, but also because I don’t want to accept those parts of myself either. In the past year, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned what I’m good at, what I’m not so good at, and I came to terms with flaws I had and faced them. Eventually I accepted them, but the process of accepting was hard. To believe in Jesus means to come to the light and that means to be exposed; all of our sins, darkness, hopes, true desires, fears, and false illusions. To hide away from it and live in darkness is to live an inauthentic life, a life of fooling yourself, not putting your true self out there. But to believe in Jesus is to live a life that even death can’t end; the eternal true life. He allows us to have a life, and live it joyfully and abundantly. I hope that I can live a life like that; one where I can be okay with being exposed and feeling vulnerable. A life where I can share my burdens, my flaws, and bare those of the people around me, and a life that is joyful, where I can truly go to the light and live life abundantly.
I was able to reflect on how when I personally make decisions, it’s usually heavily influenced by those around me. After hearing what others had to share, and hearing what Moksanim said, it made me think that in the end it’s going to be me living my life, so I should make decisions heavily influenced on myself.
Please the Lord
I was reminded of what the meaning of our lives are; to glorify and praise God. So many times we can get caught up in ourselves and making money, being successful and outperforming others around us. That shouldn’t be where our focus lies and I’m thankful that I have been reminded of this. In my program there is a very large majority of people who have that mentality and it can be so easy to mirror the same mentality as things start to get more competitive. However, by keeping my heart in the right place, I am hopeful to properly praise the Lord in everything that I do so that it may be pleasing to Him.
How do I look at my life? This seemed to be an overarching theme of chapter 7. The dualism between skepticism and a crack to open up life when facing new opportunities in life. I used to be a lot more skeptical when I was younger, I was never really adventurous and I rarely threw myself into different situations. There was a lot of fear and doubt that I would have when facing new and uncertain opportunities. Like Jesus, who is the light and the one that exposes the truth, sometimes certain opportunities would reveal things that I don’t like about myself. In these moments, I would realize that socializing isn’t the easiest for me and carrying out small talk is tedious. As I got older, I learned to face those opportunities more head on and there would be times when I found myself gaining more confidence after experiencing what I initially feared. I learned more about myself, good or bad, and the confidence I’m able to develop is priceless.
– St Timothy Summer Interns