Today, I was thinking of where my life could’ve ended up had I been stubborn in my choices and decisions and taken different paths.
Here are some uh… highlights?
- During my last year of college, I was taking a music theater class and there were auditions in Hawaii for singers/actors to be on the Disney Cruise. My professor really wanted me to audition. Though, I didn’t know what role they would use an Asian for… I really, really gave thought to this.
- I really thought about applying to grad school for Psychology. And was really, really, really close to doing so, until I was forced (yes, literally forced and threatened by my dad) to go to Exploration 2002. That changed A LOT of things… I probably could be making a lot more money just listening to people’s complaints and blaming it on their mom. hehe… I’m kidding. I know there is a lot more work to therapy than that. And money isn’t everything.
- Still trying to fight the notion of going to seminary, I tried to bargain with my dad (and maybe even God) to send me to Korea for a year or so. When I come back, I’ll go to seminary. My parents said, “if you take a year or two off from school, you’ll never want to go back.” I guess my parents knew me pretty well. I probably wouldn’t have gone back to school… I hate school
- Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary or Wesley Theological Seminary. I really wanted to go to Garrett. Not because of the school, but because it was Chicago. The city of Michael Jordan. But… Wesley offered me a full ride to seminary. Who could say no to that? And the bonus part was, MJ was GM of the Wizards and the fact that I’d be in the same city as MJ really got me excited… only to find out, the week after I made the decision to go to Washington, DC, MJ got fired from the Wizards. So close… What would’ve happened if I still decided to go to Garrett? I definitely wouldn’t have met my wife…
- Stay in DC or go back to Hawaii. That was, up to date, the hardest decision that I struggled with. I loved DC. I loved the church at DC. I loved the people I worked with and the kids that I served. But, I wanted to go back to Hawaii. After much consultations with people I trusted and after much prayer, I slowly begin to notice that the roads and doors in DC begin to close slowly but surely. I was completely scared and had no idea what the future held for me… but there was a constant reassurance in my heart and amidst the anxiety, and odd peace within my heart. I knew then that God was leading me to Hawaii. I have no idea what would’ve happened in DC. But, had I stayed, it would’ve been out of selfish ambitions and the desire to remain in my comfort zone. Never a good reason to do ministry
- Orange County, Hawaii or New York. I knew that God was leading me to a new ministry setting. I was sure of this, because I shouldn’t have passed my commissioning exams. But, by the grace of God and by the skin of my teeth I passed and got commissioned. I knew I was being sent somewhere, but where? I had too many options, and I grew more and more confused. Orange County was where the Cabinet recommended. But it was youth ministry. And I really thought I was done with youth ministry. New York… dude, it was New York… but it was a Korean church. Hawaii… I would work with a pastor I really respected and knew I could learn a lot from. And this pastor eventually would be moving on to bigger and better (well… I guess the ‘better’ part could be debatable…) things.. I firmly believe, had I gone to NY, I’d be burned out. If I stayed in Hawaii… who knows what would’ve happen. And that area is a really nice part of Hawaii… But, God led me to Orange County.
I know, 100% looking back, (because I wasn’t sure at the time these events were unfolding) that each road was where God was leading me. It just took a long time for God’s voice to penetrate my bone headed thoughts.
My life would’ve turned out dramatically different had I taken any other road. I may still be in cruise ships pretending to be Aladdin (the closest Asian character I could think of… besides Mulan). I guess that wouldn’t be so bad…
But, following the plans that God has for me, that’s the most fulfilling life I could lead.