February was a bad month.
The only thing damaged, really, was my pride. I guess.
But I learned a lot from this great disappointment. And a phrase has been stuck in my heart ever since that week. A motto for the year. Heck, for my life.

I had pass my written exams and was being interviewed for ordination and full membership in the Cal-Pac Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Well. Looking back, I totally let my nerves get the best of me. I was jittery. Chatty. Unable to sit still. So much so, that the Board of Ordained Ministry (BOOM) thought that it might be wise for me to see if I had ADHD. They seem to have a knack of rubbing salt in the wound.

I was disappointed.
Angry even.
Who wouldn’t be?

You start wondering about things. Why didn’t I pass? What did I do wrong? Do I want to go through this again next year? How could I not pass? Which always leads to, they passed and I didn’t? What is wrong with me?
It didn’t help that the people I got commissioned with, which ended up being my covenant group, that all of them will be full members come next week. Leaving me the sole one left from that class still going through the process.
I hate losing. I hate not being first. I hate admitting that someone just might be better than me. A lot of things that I obviously still have to work through. And this was a great opportunity to work on those things. And I have. And am.

The following week, I had to go to my dad’s church. His friend from Korea was going to lead the revival at my dad’s church. At that point, I had gotten over the disappointment of not passing. But I still held on to a little anger and resentment toward the process. I didn’t really want to go. But, the pastor was one of the few I actually do remember from my childhood. And I do remember him being a very talented musician. Besides, I had to represent the Yoo household. The revival was dubbed as a “healing concert” and that the pastor was going to do a lot through his music. Which was going to help, because my Korean is getting worse and worse.

In the middle of the worship, he started playing this one song.
I recognized the song from my parents singing it.
I started singing along.
And, I couldn’t help it. Nor stop the tears from flowing.
I hate crying.
Especially in public.
But there I was, floods being unleashed from my eyes.

The chorus ends with this 주만 바라볼찌라 which is the title, (pronounced: joo mahn bah rah bohl jji rah).
It basically translates to: look only to Christ.

And it just hit me so hard. And I kept hearing, “Look only to me.”
Don’t look to the BOOM; there will only be resentment and anger.
Don’t look to your peers and friends; there will only be comparisons and unnecessary pride.
Don’t look to yourself; there will only be sentiments of failure.
Look only to me.
Look only to me.
Look only to me.

Over and over.

Sure enough, the healing concert did exactly what it was meant to do. And I walked in thinking that I didn’t need any sort of healing. Funny how much more God knows.

I felt the weight lift off from my shoulder.
In the following days, I was able to really look at the whole situation objectively. I took to heart what the BOOM recommended, joking about it. I was able to see how I really messed up and where I was strong. Most importantly, I was able to really laugh at it. And make fun of myself.
I failed. Er… got continued. So what? I got next year. And the year after that. And the year after that. (Which I hope it won’t get that far). But that doesn’t mean that I’m not effective. It doesn’t mean I’m not useful for God. It just means that I have to be patient and realize what God is trying to teach me and say to me in the process of failing. God has still ordained me. God has still set me apart to be a minister. No one can take that away from me. And the BOOM can’t change my calling just because they didn’t quite see it. Yet.

I need to keep this phrase in my mind for the rest of my life.
Look to only Christ.
I don’t need your approval, stranger who might stumble upon this blog.
I don’t need people to like me.
I don’t need to look for other people’s approval.
I don’t need to look at what other churches are doing.
I don’t need to see what my friends are accomplishing in their ministries.
I don’t need to look for validation in the people I work with and serve.

I need to only look at Christ.

And it’s always amazing how everything always falls into place, when I do that.

It’s very hard to not pay attention to the whispers around you.
It’s very tempting to look at everyone’s “greener” grass around you.
It’s very hard to not get caught up in other people’s opinions of you, your ministry and your church.
It’s very easy to get caught up in ourselves. To wallow in our self-pity.
It’s very easy to get lost in our troubles.
And in doing so, we may lose our way, our purpose and our mission in Christ.

May our hearts be fixed only on Jesus.
May our eyes be fixed only on Jesus.
May we look to no other things.
May we look only to Christ.

found a video of the pastor singing the song.
also, the translation, not done by me. just copied and pasted from somewhere. I wish I remembered where…

하나님의 사랑을 사모하는 자
하나님의 평안을 바라보는 자
너의 모든 것 창조하신 우리주님이
너를 얼마나 사랑하시는지
하나님의 찬양과 경배하는 자
하나님의 선하심을 닮아가는 자
너의 모든 것 창조하시는 우리 주님이
너를 자녀 삼으셨네
하나님 사랑의 눈으로
너를 어느때나 바라보시고
하나님 인자한 귀로써
언제나 너에게 기울이시니
어두움에 밝은 빛을 비춰주시고
너의 작은 신음에도 응답하시니
너는 어느곳에 있든지 주를 향하고
주만 바라볼찌라

All of those who worship the God’s everlasting love
Those who strive each day for the peace of His embrace
How he loves you, each and every one that he holds dear
Lord God who created everything

All of those who give Him their hearts in worship praise
Those who strive each day to grow closer to his grace
How he loves you, each and every one that he holds dear
Lord God who made you His child

With His eyes of burning love for you
He watches on you every single day
With His ears of mercy  great for you
He leans them to you every single day

In the darkness black He shines his blinding light
And he answers to your every smallest pleas
Wherever you may go, always walk the way of God
Look to Him who watches you

One Comment on “주만 바라볼찌라

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