해마다 4000여 명이 지원하는 웨스트포인트 육군사관학교는 하바드 대학에서도 받지 않는 미 상원, 하원 심지어 부통령의 추천서가 입시전형의 필수 서류라고 합니다. 흥미로운 것은 서류전형에 통과한 거의 모든 후보자들이 고등학교 스포츠팀에서 주장으로 활약 해온 학생들이라는 점입니다. 고된 훈련이 주는 결과임을 말해주는 부분입니다. 그럼에도 불구하고, 입학한 생도 5명 중 1명이 중퇴한다고 합니다. 더 놀라운 사실은 중퇴생의 상당수가 입학한 첫해 여름에 “Beast Barrack”라는 7주간의 집중 군사훈련을 받는 도중에 포기한다는 것입니다. 모든 것이 단절된 채로 훈련을 받으면서 포기하는 신병들 중 대부분은 능력이 부족해서가 아니라고 합니다. 가장 중요한 것은 ‘절대 포기하지않는’ 태도였다는 것입니다. (출처:GRIT; 엔젤라 더크워스 지음)
그런 의미에서 성도의 신앙생활은, 영원한 나라를 절대로 포기하지 않는 삶의 태도가 가장 중요하다는 생각입니다. 자기 사람들을 사랑하시되 끝까지 사랑하신 우리 구주 예수님의 절대 포기하지 않으신 태도를 따라가는 삶입니다. 그분의 삶에 포기는 없었으며 지금도 우리가 낙심에 머물러 있지 않도록 임마누엘로 함께 하고 계십니다. 사랑하는 베델의 모든 가족 여러분, 팬데믹 시즌 동안 하나님을 더 깊이 사랑하고 알아가는 훈련 중, 끝까지 포기하지 않는 태도로 승리하시길 간절히 소망합니다.
Attitude of Never Giving Up
Rev. David Kim
As my kids grow up, I see how big they are getting physically. My three kids must sweat out a certain amount each day to be satisfied. Since onset of the Pandemic, my family has traveled all over Irvine on hand-me-down bicycles. I was so used to riding in a car that riding a bike was an unfamiliar sports to me. Initially we rode casually for about 1-2 miles, and at times going up and down hills in sweats. Kids enjoyed receiving talents (prizes) every time we achieved a record. Now, our family bike riding has goals and has slowly changed to training. We experienced sceneries in wider view as we broke through 3 miles, 4 miles, and 5 miles. Whenever we are about to climb a difficult hill, I would call out “Lord~” even if I had no intention of praying, and start to pedal. Then on downhill ride, I praise “Hallelujah, I have been saved~ I have been saved”. Now I can ride up hills that seemed so hard at one time with ease and singing praises. 4 months later, our goal is 20 miles. I believe this is the result of training without giving up.
Each year there are over 4000 applicants for one of the most prestigious school, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. It is very difficult to get in. They require recommendation from a member of House of Representatives, Senate, or even Vice President, which Harvard University doesn’t require. What is interesting is that all accepted applicants have participated in school sports as team leaders. I’m sure they experienced hard trainings to reach that level. Regardless, of those accepted students, 1 out of 5 will drop out before graduation. What is even more surprising is that most of the dropouts will happen during 7 weeks of military training called “Beast Barrack” in their first summer of acceptance. They say the reason these new soldiers give up during training is not because of their lack of ability. What is important is their ‘never give up’ attitude. (Source: GRIT; by Angela Duckworth)
From this perspective, I think our life of faith, as a believer, is to live with attitude of never giving up on Eternal Kingdom. It is following the life of our savior Jesus who never gave up loving His people to the end. There was no giving up in His life. He is with us, Emmanuel, so that we don’t remain in our disappointments even now. During this time of Pandemic, may we never give up on our attitude of training in learning the depth of God’s love.