The first day I visited Sunnybrook hospital was because Paul Kang’s father had a stroke. The doctors said he didn’t have many days left and this morning at six o’clock, he just passed away. When I entered the room, he was kind of breathing, but I didn’t know that he was conscious and when I said “Jangdonim”, he opened his eyes. He couldn’t talk but had a big smile on his face. I could see that he was very glad to see me. To remember what I said last week, “always put a smile on your face.” He did that even in his last moments. Joo-song, Joo-yong, Julie and Paul, all of Paul’s siblings were there. We go a long way back and we talked a lot about what we did when we were young. We laughed a lot. There was one Korean woman and she probably found us very strange.
His father’s dying soon, but we are laughing. Even in their father’s last moment. They were able to have a good laugh because they didn’t focus on his death, but on the good life that he lived. I could see their sadness, but also I could see their deep appreciation for the good life he lived. On the way out of the hospital. Paul followed me and said, “Mokssanim, he lived a good life.” Even in deep sadness, we can have joy and we can have thankfulness. Paul called me so I went there and we prayed together. They were so thankful. I was probably there for about 30 minutes, but there was prayer, thankfulness and lots of laughter. That’s what life is. Prayer, laughter and thankfulness. That’s what life is, that is the will of God for us. He said, “rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.” For you, that’s a very strong word, the will of God. This is what you got to do in your life.
Life is not about making tons of money. Life is not about winning every game we play. Life is not about getting ahead of everyone else. Life is about enjoying it, living it prayerfully and always being thankful. That is what the most important thing in life is. If you can do that, you have life. If you don’t do that, I don’t know what that life is. But if you can do these three things, you have life. This is how we should live. A good life is not just about what we do. A good life is about how we live. What defines us is not just what we do. What defines us is how we do things.
The Holy Spirit
You should live joyfully, prayerfully, and thankfully and we should do that always without seizing and in all circumstances. But what does that mean? “Always without seizing and in all circumstances.” That means, that it should be your lifestyle, not just doing it once in a while, but doing that all the time. That means that is your lifestyle, that it should be your lifestyle. It should be the rhythm of our life. It should be a good flow of life, don’t block that good flow of life. Saint Paul said in verse 19, “do not quench the spirit here.” The word quench is not like quenching your thirst. It’s not like satisfying yourself. Quenching meaning extinguishing, do not extinguish the Holy Spirit, the fire of the spirit. The spirit creates this beautiful rhythm of living joyfully, prayerfully, and thankfully. It is what the spirit does within us. Do not quench the spirit, do not block the good flow the spirit creates within you.
Flow of Life
Rejoicing, praying and giving things are not three separate things that you do. They’re all deeply connected. It is one gigantic flow that comes from one source and that one source is the spirit. When we are in God’s spirit, rejoicing, praying and giving thanks flow out of our existence naturally. Not that you do it reluctantly, but it just comes out, oozing out of you, out of your existence. It is something that you should be just aware of. For example, if you’re not thankful, you just need to be aware of it. If you don’t pray, you just need to be aware of it and get back to the spirit and spirit will create the rhythm of life within you. The spirit will help you overcome your sadness, your gloominess, your critical spirit. With the help of the spirit, you will soon come back to your natural rhythm of life.
Yes, sometimes we get frustrated. Sometimes we experience life’s tragedies, whether we like it or not. Even when you’re young, you experience life’s tragedies. We become worried about our unknown future and we get disappointed, and you get really, really tired too. Not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually. Elon Musk, the creator of Tesla had an interview with the New York Times and he said how difficult his life was this year. He said this past year has been the most difficult and painful year of his career. He said it was excruciating. He choked up several times during the interview and noted that he almost missed his brother’s wedding when he was the best man. He flew over just two hours before and did the wedding and then went back to the factory again, and he said he worked seventy to one-hundred and twenty hours a week.
The Ups & Downs
He works continuously. One-hundred and twenty hours a week, divided into seven days is almost seventeen hours every day. He works every day, even on Saturdays and Sundays. Yes, sometimes life can be very difficult to bear. You can easily lose balance and break the rhythm of life. I’m not saying that you should never not be joyful. I’m not saying that you should never not be thankful. Sometimes we are not joyful. Sometimes we are thankful, but are you going to make that your rhythm of life? Always complaining, always critical. Are you going to make that your rhythm of life or do you go back to the rhythm of life which is joyful, thankful and prayerful? That should be the rhythm of life. Sometimes we lose it. Sometimes we lose balance, but eventually, we have to go back to the natural spiritual rhythm of life that is joyful, thankful, and prayerful.
When you’re overly critical, when you’re constantly critical, that is a time when you need to pray. That’s when you need to be in God’s spirit. That’s when we should exercise our spirituality. Then we can find joy and thankfulness again. We’ll find peace and stability. Just remind yourself, rejoice. Be thankful and pray. Just remind yourself that you’ll be alright. Things will work out for good. Don’t fall apart. Keep yourself intact. You’ll find strength again, and most of all, you’ll find your spiritual rhythm again. I hope that all of you live with a good flow of life, a good rhythm of life.