Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverends Kaufmannn
God's Day 1999 in Punta Del Este, Uruguay
January 22, 1999
"Dad? Why didn't you stay with us on God's Day?"
"I had to go to be with Aboji"
"Did you have fun?"
"Yes, I did. I had a lot of fun."
I struggle when writing for inspirational periodicals because I dislike exaggeration and prevarication, while I simultaneously recognize and acknowledge that excited or sentimental tones often legitimately characterize inspirational genres. The struggle is profound. I am of the opinion that one's reputation for truth telling is gained only slowly, and lost quickly. And, once lost, it is almost irrecoverable.
I was positively enchanted during my stay in Punta Del Este , where I savored the inestimable and eternal gift of being allowed to share God's Day with Father and Mother.
Part of the rapture I experienced this year is closely linked to having spent God's Day 1998 in Punta Del Este whose misery neared perfection save Father's glorious love and steadfastness. God's Day 1998 seemed to gather not only all the rain on earth, but the human, spiritual versions of mud as well; Rivers through the tent, mud up to the knees of your dress suit, porous umbrellas, cliquishness, self-absorption, greed and dishonesty. It seemed a Holy Day designed to manifest the theological assertion that Father and Mother alone are good. The awesome truth about that God's Day 1998 was that the worse the conditions became, the more intensely and more faithfully Father carried out the activities of those Holy Days. Did the start of the year portend the nature of the year to come? I suppose each will have to answer that for him or herself. One thing for sure, we have since come to know of intense suffering borne by Father in 1998.
Well the year passed, (as all the years I've experienced so far seem to do), and a brand new God's Day rolled around. By the grace of God I was permitted to attend God's Day festivities. Curiously though, I must confess, the opportunity had a low grade similarity to the feeling of one's second appointment to finish up a root canal; you know it's good for you, but you still flinch when thinking about going.
With the residue of God's Day 98 suffering re-stirring, I boarded the long but often pleasant and relaxing flight to Montevideo. Each step along the way introduced more and more of the old guard. JFK unveiled a good 20 members, the stop-over in Buenos added another 30, the flight to Montevideo increasingly came to resemble the God's Day express.
The fate of this Holy Day to be a healing and resurrecting experience was immediately evident upon landing. The reception of Holy Day participants, immigration, luggage, and ground transportation was flawlessly managed. Not only were the local staff operating with a clear and efficient plan, but thankfully those arriving seemed to function with a spirit of patience, and humility. The ride through the Uruguayan country-side was bright and refreshing, my partner and I on the ride made sure to speak quietly enough not disturb. Somehow, as if on cue, the whole bus went to sleep instantly as the wheels of the bus went 'round and 'round. I think sleep functions differently in different cultures.
The organizational mastery, and the participant compliance persisted in the manner of our welcome to the celebration grounds. Registration, luggage arrangement, site maps, program and schedule directions, were all provided each incoming participant. Lines somehow stayed short, and those who presume lines are meant to be violated seemed held as if by Angelic forces, to curb the presumption of privilege.
Instead of personal tents this year, the organizers arranged three vast tents, each holding perhaps as many as two hundred people! Light, bright, airy, weather proof. Less comical but far more comfortable. No place in the tent-cum-hall seemed superior to any other, thus frustrating those with a congenital need to manifest position. We were reduced to selecting sleeping places based on being next to someone you know and like! There's a novel notion.
Soon after arrival, Father called all present to the meeting grounds where we heard reports, and heard from Father himself. Here with Father the spiritual atmosphere, just as the external preparations and welcome, was filled with a sense of peace and calm. Father's words while ever our judge, and ever strained with insistence and desperation, somehow emanated a soft glow, an assurance, the likes of which I am not accustomed to. There was a wholeness, a completeness to Father's message, this first meeting time, and throughout the Holy Days.
We had many Hoon Dok Hae sessions, many speeches, and many occasions of ritual and devotion. It all had an aura of ease. But please do not misunderstand. Imagine the hundred yard hurdles. The winner has an aura of ease. Father's passion for victory, his urgency, his relentless investment was as great or greater than ever, and yes there were moments of absolute and intense contest of cosmic and providential proportions, in the hairline realm of heart and attendance. Still, our days together were in this way "easy." The sun was warm and bright, the nights were crisp and cold. The food was fresh and ample (more than enough both for the wolves and for the lambs. Who'd you rather spend a meal with?) Mother seemed to be at Father's side even more than usual (if one can imagine that). Even the hours of Hoon Duk Hae seemed easy. Father and Mother sat together over the hours of Hoon Duk Hae the way other's might choose to cuddle together on the deck of a vacation cruise-liner. As we listened to Hoon Duk Hae, Father told us of words that "spark your pulse," he told us of wanting to give words which can continue to inspire for 100' and 1,000's of years.
For me the true test of what seemed too good to be true would occur in the annual games. The contests for prizes and the King's nod; the sports and fishing competition. I concur with the inspiration that athletic competition does not build character. It reveals character. It was on the fields and in the sand that my heart was so painfully lacerated last year. The rain and the mud was just fun in a way. A gift of a story to tell. The descent into the ugly ways of non-spiritual people, revealed in competition, is no gift and no story to tell.
As if to invite me back into the movement, this year the fields of competition were a scene of honor, of grand and well fought contests, of self-surrender, deference to the officiators, and respect among the combatants. As brothers and sisters waged their various campaigns, matching skills and doggedness, Father and Mother arrived on the warm and sunny beach. By merely sitting in one place they instantly authored what promptly became the "roaring crowd," cheering as yellow battled black in a well fought soccer match. The efforts and competitiveness of their children caused Father and Mother to smile; those very smiles which many of us trust as our own pillar of cloud and fire; that by which we are captivated and enticed as we tread fearfully through the wilderness to the promised land.
It appears the rain has let up.
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