Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverend Peter Kim
A Lesson from Fishing with True Father
by Mr. Peter Kim
This is based on notes taken by Michael Keily of the speech given after UTS Pledge Service on March 1.
It is my great honor to share with you some fascinating recent events and my own confession and testimony about experiences with True Father along with an important lesson I learned from them.
Today is significant, especially for Korean brothers and sisters. The year before True Father was born there was a high school girl, Yoo Gwan Sun, 16 years old, who volunteered to become a spearhead to launch a nationwide Mansei Rally. Korea was officially annexed in 1909. The movement was 10-years after the beginning of Japanese domination; that nationwide mobilization took place in 1919.
She went out to the countryside for many weeks secretly. The Japanese police were all over the country by then, so she had to work underground. She encouraged people all over Korea to join the March 1 rally. On that day the entire nation stood up to show their desire for independence. They did not have guns, but only hand-made Korean flags and poured into the streets waving the flags and cheering "Mansei!" for the liberation of Korea.
March 1 has thus become a national holiday. It is not just externally significant, but internally as well. According to True Father, around this time, March 1, 1919, was the moment when True Father was conceived. The next year on January 6, he was born. Through this show of unity of the Korean people, the country of Korea was helped to set up the proper conditions to receive the Lord of the Second Advent. So, this day has a double significance.
A Persistent Voice for an Anti-Unificationist Minister
A significant event occurred in Korea. A respected Baptist minister with his own large church was having a happy life, but he was searching. He persecuted the Unification Church, particularly focusing on True Father's life. He believed the Unification Church was heretical. Suddenly last year he began to hear a voice: "I am the one whom you have worshipped all these years and to whom you have prayed all these years. Therefore listen to me. Why are you persecuting my beloved son, Sun Myung Moon?" Because of his own convictions about True Father, the minister ignored it, but the voice returned several times to disturb his peace of mind.
His son had just finished seminary and was a new pastor. The minister shared the details of this experience with his son. Together they decided the young son would investigate the Unification Church. He went to a three-day weekend workshop at the Church. Unable to make up his mind about the church teachings, he returned to attend a seven-day workshop, then finally a 21-day workshop. Afterwards he reported to his father. Finally after considerable reflection, they were nearly at the point of becoming Unification Church members.
Around this time True Father initiated the sisterhood campaign. There were also several brotherhood ceremonies between Korea and Japan. One of these ceremonies became a stepping stone for this father and son to become directly connected to the movement. At one of these events, they shared their testimony and became full-time members.
Whenever we see this kind of big campaign like this event in Washington, D.C., or True Mother's campaign, we may have the attitude, "Oh, this is another campaign. Yes, I will do what I can, but I must continue my studies or my mission." Actually we should be fully behind this event. We don't know when we will find the critical moment in our lives.
The Jumping Golden Dourado
I want to confess one of my own mistakes last year. When I was in Brazil, December 10, 1994, we were fishing with True Father. It was 7 p.m. at night. The river was about half the width of this room, not so big. The current was fast moving; the water was mud colored, so we could not see anything in the water. We were returning from fishing, and at that moment were a couple of miles from where True Father was staying. Our boat was small, about 16 feet by three feet. Mr. Yoon was in the rear, then True Father, and I was in front. True Father was looking at my back. Rev. Hyung Tae Kim, the continental leader in South America, was next to me.
In the middle of the river at one point True Father said "Woo Woo." That is True Father's way of cautioning us. Because of the noise of the engine, it would have been difficult to hear anything in the river (like the splash of a fish). But something amazing was happening! There was a big fish about 24 inches long, a dourado, like a stripped bass. You may have seen striped bass in the Hudson River. This fish was gold colored. It jumped out of nowhere and landed right in front of True Father! You know how tenacious True Father is about fishing, how serious he is. He doesn't waste a minute, even though it is dark or raining. He tries till the last moment. But this time he responded differently.
The sides of the boat were not high; it was a low-sided aluminum boat. Instead of jumping on top of it, True Father did not try to catch the fish at all, even though it was at his feet. The fish was jumping high - I don't know if it was trying to get out or was happy to have landed in front of the Messiah! True Father watched us with a smile instead of catching the fish. We had no other fish in the boat because our catch had already been emptied from the boat.
Rev. Kim and I reacted. There was no net. All we had were our bare hands. I tried to push the fish down so he could not jump out of the boat. The problem was that he had very sharp teeth like a piranha. So I had to be careful. It's teeth could have seriously lacerated my finger. He had not been caught and had not tired himself fighting on the end of a fishing line, so he was fresh from the river and full of fight. As we struggled with the fish, True Father smiled but did not help. He has big hands and could have more easily held the fish, but he did not help.
I share this story because when a situation develops like that, it does not give you enough time to think about it seriously. It doesn't appeal to you as a moment you have to grab right there. You must deal with the situation with whatever faculty or ability you have.
I cut my thumb - about half an inch - and had to squeeze it on the way home to prevent it from bleeding, but we kept the fish. I came home and was so excited to report to True Mother. My mistake was that I left the fish in the boat and came home to True Parents in order to report to True Mother what happened.
The second boat following us, which had our catch from earlier in the day, found that golden dourado in our boat and put it together with the other fish. I only discovered that later.
I made two mistakes: I should have brought that fish home with me to show it as proof to True Mother of what had happened. It would have been a much more effective or exciting account. When the resurrected Jesus appeared early in the morning to Simon Peter and other disciples, who had been fishing fruitlessly, Jesus told them to cast their nets to the right side of the boat. They followed his direction and caught 153 fish. If I had kept that fish as evidence or had it mounted, that would have been better. That was such a providential fish.
The next day I spoke to a man who had fished that river for 40 years. He said no such event like that had ever occurred on the river that he knew of. True Father said that probably during the whole life of that river, such an incident had never happened. The gold color, he said, symbolized good fortune. So probably the providence True Father is developing in South America has a great future.
If we apply this situation to our daily life, we can learn a lesson. I had a camera there and could have taken a picture. That was my second mistake.
Missed Photo Opportunities at Danbury
I have made other mistakes in the past. When True Father was incarcerated in Danbury, I was at the prison every day. I could have taken many photos of True Father's life in prison each time he came out to deal with Mother and important people from all over the world. I was not allowed to take photos, but I could have given the security guard a gift and taken those pictures. Sometimes we have to be smart and wise if we want to do providential work.
The lesson we need to learn here is that as long as we have a fresh attitude every day, who knows when and how we will be deeply inspired and awakened by a voice from heaven, by God or Jesus.
When we are invited to somebody's house the first time, we usually look at the photos and pictures on the wall and the furniture. "Oh, there is a piano." We are curious about the way of life of our host or hostess. Our senses are keener. But if we live in that house for ten or 20 years, we become used to it and don't pay attention to those things. Our senses become dulled. It is routine and habitual.
Similarly, here at UTS we are in the same community with people every day. Unless we are fully awakened, unless we make an effort to be awake and alert, we don't see with fresh eyes. When we jog outside, try to look at those trees and grass with fresh eyes. We may get some inspiration. Instead of greeting our professor with the normal attitude, let's great him with a heartfelt, fresh attitude.
We are in the third year of this precious Completed Testament Age. We have to cope with the providential progression of time. We have to be careful not to sit still and be losers.
Today is the first day of spring 1995. We need to make a new determination with fresh eyes internally and externally so we can be fully alert and awakened and have a keen sense of life here.
For the past 25 years I have been with True Parents. I make so many mistakes all the time. To prevent making mistakes we have to constantly check ourselves, asking how serious we are.
I'll be happy if you can benefit from this story.
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