Unification News for January 2002

8 Days a Week ... Now or Later?

by Carlton Johnson

Recently a good friend and brother of mine wrote to me, asking for some frank information regarding the importance of the current 8-day Blessed Husbands Workshops. He explained in his note that, for him to go to CPL right now, is very difficult. He attended a 40 day workshop there, in the past, as well as the 3 day registration after his wife fulfilled a 40 day, and, a few years later, the 21-day re-registration workshop.

My good friend confided that he feels it is always great to remove additional spirits from our body, but he is concerned that if that's all there is to it, he would be better disposed to attend at a more convenient time. So, he asked me was there some special ceremony at this “8-day workshop.”

Is this really special, somehow; versus one's attending, instead, a 21-day workshop in the summer. True Father's spirit and 80-year course is burning intensely within me, already,” he writes. “My fire is lit.”

So, what is special about this special 8 days at CPL?” Good question ... one which forces me to attempt to codify all the novelties of what I have just experienced, there at Chung-Pyung, in that recent 8-day workshop.

As an aside: On the morning of True God's Day, while the Hoon Dok Hae was going on (and being of course peppered intermittently by comments and further expositions from Father), I was busy observing Father, himself, as we (I mean he) strolled up the center aisle — with thousands of brothers and sisters packed on either side. Sitting there on the floor, oriental style, a hodgepodge of ancestries, East and West; we were a continuous sea of hope and promise. Hardly an inch of space could be seen, here or there, and the traditional heated floor made us oblivious to the wintry season outside. There we were, awash in the lulling warmth of Father's womb, if you will; and he was strolling, in Freedom, Peace, and Happiness on the waters.

Suddenly, arriving near the back of the room where a makeshift scaffolding was erected to elevate the two primary television cameras, Father addressed those members on the right side of the hall, asking them to straighten up their horizontal rows and count-off — from the one sitting on the aisle, all the way to over to the last person in that row, against the far wall. Maybe he did so to see how many could count in Korean? Or to make sure that we were all awake? (Maybe there were about 40 in that row.) As everyone observed him inquisitively, some were probably wondering if Father were going to give these recruits a new mission assignment, like “You, all, in this group, prepare to go to Africa, tomorrow!”

But, as the last one counted-off, Father just looked around, stuck out his tongue with a smile and said, “I just want to know how many are here. I need to know that.” I bring up this moment to illustrate a sense I have, that, to Father, these numbers and details are significant. Even for those who live in Korea, the journey to Chung-Pyung at this time of year is perilous. Our family lives only two hours away (three in heavy snow), but we have to climb and descend three ranges, before reaching the training center. And perhaps you know of our own narrow escape from the jaws of death, just one year ago on these slopes. How much more treacherous is the journey for those who come from the southernmost regions. (And one car ahead of us, going over that last mountain, came all the way from my wife's mission town, some additional 6 or 7 hours from the south, below Pusan.) In other words, as it was snowing throughout the night, many came at great risk. And that counts for something, I am sure.

Through Father's Midnight prayer and address I could gather that, he is using every possible, every slightest condition on anyone's part, to claim and proclaim “Chun-il Kuk.” We look around and we wonder, “Does the emperor really have clothes on?” ... Where is that nation? What land, what sovereignty is he talking about? But we really should be asking “Is Noah really naked? ... Is God truly pleased with the sanctity of his 'birthday suit'?” Unfortunately, though, we do not have eyes enough to see, ears to hear.

In the Midnight prayer and God's Day address, Father was emphasizing, again and again, the significance of the “Central Blessed Family” and the “Total Life Offering,” as conditions upon which the “Chun-il Kuk,” would be further 'unfurled' Apparently, the spiritual world at this time is easier to restore than the physical world. Many may be wondering, like my good friend: Of course it is always great to remove additional spirits from my body, but was their a special ceremony at this 8 days. Is this special somehow vs. one attending for a 21 day in the summer instead?

The 'ceremony' is “showing up,” “being counted.” Father is out there, leveraged up to the tip of his head, banking on our conditions. We are all still in the realm of “non-ownership,” thieves. Chun-il Kuk is as real as God's word — which surely will not come back to Him void. “I have promised and I will do it.” But its substantiation awaits our assent, our ascent, our affirmation, at the risk of our lives, again and again. Invest and forget the investing.

To be honest, I have yet to fulfill all the conditions to stand as a “Central Blessed Family.” Yes, I went to the Registration Blessing; and 160 couples were Blessed (“pre-blessed”); my wife is mobilized, here in Korea. But we could not yet complete the “Total Life Offering;” nor could we go down to Jardim. However, through the 8-days, I could better understand 'what time it is' in the providence, in my life, in my eternity. And through Father's God's Day address, I could understand even more how important it is for me to mobilize the offering, the tithe, and the manpower, so as not to default of that liberal loan which True Parents have procured for me; procured on the basis of their own good credit before Heaven and Earth. On their merit, we stand as 'Central Blessed Families,' when, in fact, we are due, now, to leave the house, and establish our own resurrected, restored, 4th-Adam independence from our Parents.

A special ceremony? There is a diploma, there are group pictures, there are prayers and pilgrimages. But, what are they, really? Any ceremony is just a ritual to align the collective consciousness of those involved. We are alumni of certain blessing groups. We come together, we see ourselves, briefly, as we are. We recommit, accordingly, as new. Like the 3-day ceremony, before starting our Blessed family lives—what was that? Did something change, really? Then, where is our victory of absolute Faith, Love, and Obedience. Why is spirit world not testifying in Father's ear about me?

The question is a most reasonable one, “TF's spirit and 80-year course is burning intensely within me already. My fire is lit. What is special about this special 8 days in CPL?”

I cannot take responsibility for another man's course. I can not tell you, in unqualified terms that you must go. Hyo (filial piety) is not a matter of mere 'duty' or 'obligation' — though, at times I felt it depicted as such by our experience in Japan. Rather the standard of Filial Piety that Father is praying for, on our behalf, is that of an 'irrepressible emotional force' to give (and receive) True Love, particularly between ourselves and God, our Original, True, Chun-Ji Pumo Nim-tul. As such I must confess, that the intensity of True Father's spirit and 80-year course, though burning in me, is still only a pale reflection of what Chun-il Kuk requires of me, in these latter days. This 8-day Workshop may or may not be special — depending on to what extent we have fulfilled all the conditions leading up to the title of True “Central Blessed Families.” But I would emphasize (even as I regret our family's own tardiness with respect to Jardim and the Total Life Offering) that not attending this call, now, should be a forfeiture fraught with a level of repentance commensurate with the depth of the heart of attendance that Father holds in trust for us, through his recent prayers and conditions on our behalf. For our part, my wife and I are burning with anguish, hope, and longing to make this the year of promise.

To all my brothers who are agonizing over the timing, here; I am nothing and have nothing over you or anyone else, certainly not until I have released Father from the co-signature of the loan he has made for me. So I hope that I have not conveyed a heart that you will be beneath me if you don't, if you cannot, attend this Blessed Husbands workshop. I regret that the state of our collective Blessings are such that we could not assist one another to total, mutual victory in these important conditions. On the other hand; the year 2004 is fast approaching. Will we be different? Do we need to be different? Our tribe? The sovereign powers of the earth? Our Chun-il Kuk? Our God? Shall we be more bold to say, “Follow me, as I follow The True Parents of the New Heaven and New Earth”?

I hope you can make it. If you do your testimony will be an inspiration to me and others; another surging wave to convict us towards the shore. I hope we can all find more desperate hearts to fulfill all of these elementary conditions, so that God may truly be liberated to “open the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” 

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