Yesterday I spoke to a friend who’s trying to figure out her next steps in work and life, which is proving more difficult with all the uncertainty in the world today. She’s very capable and there is no question in my mind that she will be successful in whatever field she applies herself. At one point in the conversation she said “my path has been relatively straightforward until now, but there are so many directions that I could take especially with the world the way it is. I sometimes wish I had a letter that told me what was going to happen for the next ten years of my life.” Of course I can empathize having felt many times the sense of unease that comes with an uncertain future. But I told her that she actually does have a letter about her future, and it’s really long and really deep! One line from it goes as follows… “For you know the plans I have for you” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11 Dear God, sometimes the world seems peaceful and sometimes it goes bezerk, but even though the world changes, you are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. You always have your best in store for us, because you are a loving father and that’s what loving fathers do. I pray for all of us who are struggling with uncertain futures, lost incomes, lost loved ones, and all the issues that come with an uncertain world. But we declare that your plans do not change, and that those plans for us are good. In your son’s name, Amen.
1 Corinthians 12:26 “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” When violent protests started sweeping over the United States and then across the world in reaction to the death of George Floyd, I encountered multiple people in Asia condemn them with incredulity. “We haven’t had race riots in Singapore for decades. What is going on?!” I personally tried to empathize but found it difficult to condone violence. I believe that one must fight hate with love, and have seen in my own life how a cycle of negativity just spirals into more and more conflict. But today I felt God gave me a new perspective on this. There are many places in scripture that characterize the body of God’s children as just that… a body. The ultimate expression of love is to treat someone as if they were an extension of yourself, a part of your own body. Yesterday my son bit his tongue and had a violent reaction to the pain. If his tongue had not communicated this pain to the rest of the body, the muscles of his jaw might not have released their grip. Sometimes members of a body need to communicate the severity of the pain they are experiencing, and that can benefit the body overall. I still can’t condone violence. I still believe true love conquers all. But I don’t feel it’s my place to judge protesters, even those expressing violence. God’s job is to judge, not mine. But it is my job to hear the pain of fellow members of my body and to react in love. Dear God, I lift up my brothers and sisters of color in the United States and around the world. I pray that you would heal them of the wounds they have suffered for centuries. You are a loving father, and you love them so much. We know that hate, conflict, violence are not of you, but what the enemy intends for evil, you use for good. So we look forward in expectation to all the love and peace that will overflow as a result of bringing injustice and pain to light. In your son’s name, Amen.
Psalm 51:2 “Wash me clean from my guilt.”
When I was a kid I used to have nightmares that the US and Korea went to war. I remember waking up and asking my mom in tears who I should fight for if that were to ever happen. For as long as I can remember I’ve been plagued by this internal conflict that manifests in so many different ways.
Am I Korean or American? Am I a logical engineer or a creative musician? Am I a people loving extrovert or a thoughtful introvert? I could never answer these questions, and I chalked it up to being a Gemini.
In a world that values focus, this duality has plagued me with tremendous guilt.
Just yesterday afternoon I was talking with a friend about what to do with my website, which I hadn’t updated in quite some time. I told him that I do a quick daily write up of my meditation with God, and I’d been playing with the idea of sharing that to a larger audience, perhaps on my site.
Me: “But the issue is that I’m not a pastor, I’m a VC.”
Friend: “But you’re a preacher.”
Me: “Yes, well I guess I’m confused.”
Friend: “I think you should embrace it. I know you bring spiritual guidance to your portfolio companies. In your sermons I know you also take a lot of spiritual concepts and illustrate with your experience in the marketplace. You’re on a path of self-discovery like all of us. Bring people along that journey.”
Later in the evening, I went through a 3+ hour intense exercise with the inner healing team from my church and it emerged that this inner tension, this sense of guilt, and confusion have blocked me from achieving all the things I’ve been designed to achieve. We started work on some of these issues, and at the end of the session I felt like a tremendous weight had been lifted. One member of the team got this picture that my life had been like two plants in a planter growing in different directions, but that once the light of sun came out the started to align and grow in the same direction.
“You’ve had a lot of experiences that have pulled you in different directions, towards different interests and beliefs, towards different people and people groups. But I feel God wants to bring you into a new season where all these elements are coming together and moving in the same direction.”
After we finished up our session I prayed and felt God tell me he’s washing me clean from my guilt, my confusion and my inner conflict. He also gave me the greenlight to share these posts, so please keep an eye out for more!