Let Us Meet Opportunity Well
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
January 2, 1977
World Mission Center
Translator – Bo Hi Pak
The topic of the message this morning is: “Let Us Meet Opportunity Well.” One particular opportunity can decide whether a life will be successful or not. One vital statement sometimes can play a decisive role in the destiny of a man. A person can ruin his entire life through an unwarranted or improper statement. Sometimes too, when a person hears things that are not good or righteous, his whole life can be ruined. And sometimes a mistaken action can ruin an entire life. If someone mistakenly makes a wrong friend, that one friend could ruin his life.
Many saints and wise men of the past taught that it is very important to be cautious about what is listened to, what is spoken, and what is done. This philosophy is true everywhere, East or West.
On the other hand, one righteous, good statement at the opportune time can bring total, dramatic success to a life. Hearing the right things at the tight moment can bring about a decision, which will make an entire life a success. One right action at the right time can bring great success. For example, one of the sisters here could go out to the street, meet a good man and have one conversation. That could be enough for them to become friends and he could eventually become a member and later her husband. People are always eager to meet someone who can tell them the right thing, who can influence them to speak and act in the right way. Isn’t that true?
There is one predictable tendency working strongly in human life: When someone gets into difficulty, that person has no time to think about others because he is too busy thinking about himself. Isn’t that true? When the chips are down, people are always engrossed in solving their own problems. In doing that, a person may sometimes say things that are not true or may even try to take advantage of a friend.
In human life, it is not easy to find a person who can really be trusted. It is rare to find a man or woman whom you can always rely on, trusting in their judgment and advice. Frequently we are desperately disappointed to discover that our most trusted friend betrayed our trust. This life is very difficult. Nowadays it is difficult to trust even your own parents, your own brothers. Then how much more so is it true of your own friends?
People are wondering whether there is anyone who can be trusted regardless of the situation, in any emergency or difficulty. We sometimes think that the saints of history, the holy men of the past were different. Are they what we need today?
What kind of person should a saint be? Saints are those who live their lives with a noble purpose. They are the ones who have a cause greater than themselves. They devote themselves to that purpose and do not change. That is the definition of a saint.
Should there be only one saint then, or two or three saints? What about two great saints pursuing world salvation? Let’s say both are claiming that they can save the world. Could it possibly be true? In that case, they might also be competing with each other. Could normal human weaknesses appear on that level too? One might say, “I’m going to achieve it first,” and then the other would say, “No, you stay behind. Let me do it!”
When we see eminent world scholars gathered together, it is frequently very difficult to come up with a unified opinion. Each one of them has his own claim, and they just won’t bend at all. Those who have experienced college life have probably seen that prominent people can be very narrow-minded. It could be true that even the highest saints would compete, trying to reach the goal faster than anybody else. It may be a logical conclusion that even saints would try to push their own claims first.
Among saints there are different levels of accomplishment, different levels of nobility. Some are superior to others. In the final analysis, who is the absolute saint? He is the one who truly is not contaminated by human weaknesses, who would not try to take advantage of others to push himself ahead. He is the person that you or anyone could absolutely trust. He would never betray you under any circumstances. In our history we have had many saints, many holy people, many wise people and philosophers. From among those great men we should be able to pick one who fits this category. One who could give his life for his enemies, who even at the moment of his own death could still have room in his heart to bless his enemies, one who could be concerned with the well-being of his enemies rather than his own.
In history there are many teachings. One is that if someone mistreats you, repay him in the same way: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a death for a death. However, the most revolutionary teaching was given by the saint who said, “Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.” Needless to say, that was Jesus Christ.
That one man was the only saint to absolutely fit the qualifications. Did Jesus make his own proclamations, or was he teaching according to someone else’s will, denying his own ego? What do you think? Jesus was not proclaiming his own message. Above him was someone else: God. Jesus’ teaching was God’s teaching; his emotional reaction to things was not his own. This means that the proclamations, which Jesus made were God’s, and God can be trusted 100%.
Ultimately speaking, we can conclude that in this universe there is only one being you can fully trust: God; and His characteristics were manifested through Jesus Christ. God’s words are always truth. He cannot tell any lies, and His actions or His instructions are always for your benefit, not His. He will never take advantage of you for His own benefit. He is the one who can always be trusted. I found God to be the one subject who can be absolutely trusted. That’s why I believe in God.
I found out through experience that no matter how difficult a situation may be, I can rest assured that God will not exploit me. In the worst kind of situation, when I was in prison for example, going through incredible suffering day to day, even in that prison cell God was with me. God did not say, “I don’t know you any more. You are miserable. I don’t care about you.” God was there to comfort me. When God speaks, there’s no hint of a lie. Even though what He says sounds unreasonable sometimes, God speaks only the truth. Sometimes what He says is very bitter to me, and I feel I cannot accept it or adjust myself to it. But I must accept the truth because God is not speaking for His benefit but for your benefit. Is it for my own benefit, or am I speaking for you well. From that knowledge, God will ask certain things of you and teach you certain things of far greater value than anyone could come up with for you. Sometimes God will order you to do certain things that are absolutely contrary to your own thinking. So then, what will you do? You might say, “Well, God, you are you, and I am 1. So you go your direction, and I’ll go mine.” But that is the road of destruction. Sometimes you may feel that it’s virtually impossible to follow His instructions, yet once you accept it 100%, there is always a way to fulfill that instruction. You can always find a way if you take it seriously.
Let’s say God promised you something. Is it an empty promise or will it be delivered? Once God makes a promise, once God makes a decision, He always keeps that promise even if it takes thousands of years for it to be fulfilled. Time after time He has fulfilled His promises. We all need this God.
How about human promises? We promise each other quite a bit. Sometimes we even make promises knowing that we will never fulfill them. In other words, we lie. We have all lied; none of you has been perfect. In human affairs everybody lives like that. This is the honest situation.
Human lies are everywhere because lies are very convenient. Without lies, commercial people practically couldn’t continue in business. What about God? He does not lie, and does not hear lies because He knows they are lies. He sees through them. Often we listen to lies without knowing it, but not God. We are exposed as we really are before God because our lies cannot hide anything from Him. This means you cannot even trust me 100%. I have human weaknesses. That’s an honest and frank statement. However, I am introducing you to a person you can trust 100%: God. My mortal body will live only one generation here on earth, but God will remain here forever.
There is no one in the universe that knows you like God does. Is there someone else, someone more perfect than He is? There is no one more trustworthy than God; not in your past, not in your present, not in your future. You don’t understand me totally, but you must trust my teaching. My words are almost never about your past. You cannot understand me fully because my thoughts are not my own; they are God’s thoughts. God knows about your future and God loves those who know His words. If you take the word of God more seriously than I do, and you fulfill it more perfectly than I do, then God will be in a position to bless you more than me. That’s very honest.
After I came to America I undertook an extraordinary task. I went through all fifty states on the Day of Hope tour, and initiated many gigantic campaigns, Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium and Washington Monument. Was it all done for my glory? God remained the same as before, but I emerged as a giant figure in a way. It almost sounds like I became famous instead of God! Isn’t that peculiar? The important thing, however, is that God’s goal in asking me to do certain things was not for His own sake. God already has the highest possible position of glory and power. In every way He is already at the top. So now He is pushing me.
Sometimes parents give their children a hard time and nag them to sit down and study, to read or practice something, to go to school and become straight-A students. But do they do that for their own sake? Some parents are so ambitious for their children that the children think, “Boy, I can’t stand this. I wish my mother and father would die quickly.” They may not think that badly, but at least they sometimes think in passing, “I wish I could be away from Mommy, so she couldn’t speak to me, so that I can do my own things instead of listening to her.”
The same thing is true for all mankind. You may often think the same thing, “I wish there was no God. He bothers me too much. Oh, God go away somewhere. I want to do my own thing.” I’m sure some of you are thinking right now, “Oh, I wish Rev. Moon were not here. He bothers me too much. He pushes me too much!”
From this time on you all have to run in different directions. Some will go fundraising, some to the IOWC, some to witnessing. Are you willing? The time will probably have come that you will think, “Boy, I shouldn’t have come to the Unification Church. I thought the Divine Principle was very good, but now that I know it and am trying to live it, it bothers me too much. I wish I’d never known Rev. Moon; I wish I’d never heard of the Divine Principle.” Only a handful of people are saying, “No,” but they are probably a very crazy group. Those who are just sitting and listening and don’t know what to say are probably in that first category.
This morning I am speaking very frankly, because I know what kinds of things you will have to go through. Today you will bid farewell to me, go out and get down to work. My job is to fulfill this mandate from God. “Push them, send them out.” So you have to go out. Even if my heart is crying, I still have no choice. I have to push you, send you out. I keep saying, “Go,” and without reservation you go the road of suffering.
Why am I asking you to go the road of suffering? First, it is for you; second, for your own generations to come and third, for your own nation, and for the sake of the world; maybe after that for God’s and my sake. Actually, whether you do these things or not will not affect my position at all. I have my own Position in heaven and earth. Nobody can change it or alter it. So why do I keep pushing you? For your own sake, for your own children, your own country. Whoever defies my teaching is actually defying his own self, his own posterity, his own country, and the benefit of the world and God. He is not defying me at all. He is defying himself.
I am not sure whether you like me or not. Do You? Our physical make-up is entirely different. You have blue eyes, and long noses, and I have dark eyes and look strange and foreign to you. Maybe the color of our eyes is different, but the color of our minds is the same. Because of our minds we can become one and unite. How do you know I’m not the world’s worst con man or swindler? Have you seen my heart? No one can see it. How can you trust me? You can only trust me by experiencing life together with me. Maybe your future experience will be entirely different. Regardless, are you ready to go?
I tell you one thing: You will never lose yourself; you will never be harmed by going this way. Suppose I were telling you lies, but you took my lies as the truth, as God’s words and lived them 100%. God knows very well what is true or false. In that case, God may condemn me, but God would never condemn you. God may not give me the blessing but He definitely would not withdraw His blessing from you. Actually this is a challenge. Even if I am telling you lies, if you take them seriously as the word of God, and you fulfill them, actually there is a chance that you could become the real Rev. Moon. You can’t lose. When you take things seriously and live the teaching, not for your own sake but for God’s sake, God will never abolish your deeds.
This morning, the time has come for the most critical showdown of the Unification Church. Right now our opportunity is knocking at the door. We were already launched yesterday. There are many different consequences waiting for us depending on whether we shoot straight upward, downward, or maintain a horizontal path. There will be three types of response from this point on: Some people will take off and go upward to prosperity. Some people will decline, and some people will try to just barely maintain a horizontal level. Which one is your choice?
In order to shoot yourself high you need jet thrust. You need guts and energy. To shoot yourself high you need an Apollo 11, a million pounds of engine thrust to push yourself up. Do you have that kind of engine behind you? The person who is dozing, is his engine ignited? Dozing people do not know the right direction. If they are ignited, they could take off downward instead of upward! It is possible. All of you sitting here are Apollos. Are we all heading in the same direction? Do you want me to push the ignition switch? In the Unification Church, the most critical opportunity is at hand.
How can you take my word 100% seriously? You got up this morning for pledge service, didn’t you? Tell me very honesty, were you willing to do that this morning? Don’t tell me big lies! You did it because you had to! Even I didn’t want to get up at 4:30. Are you different? Why do I do it if I don’t want to? Because there’s someone upstairs watching me.
Nobody really wants to go out there selling peanuts and flowers. Nobody wants to go out there on the street, acting like a crazy man trying to grab people and witness. You act almost like servants to the people, trying to win their hearts, trying to talk to them. When you think of it, the amount of work you have to do to win one person’s heart is incredible. And you have to do it day in and day out. You go out fundraising every day, from early morning to late night. Are we really fond of doing it? We do it because we have to.
Actually, I don’t like to speak harshly to you or be too strong. I came back from my tour, and without any rest I had a fifteen hour conference talking to state directors. Then I came here and spoke twice yesterday and now for a third time. It would be very convenient to say, “Well, I’m tired, and you’re tired. I need some sleep and you need some sleep. Let’s forget about the mission. Let’s go sleep for a full twenty-four hours.” It would be very nice. I wish I could do that. But someone is watching me, thinking, “That’s not the proper thing to do.” That’s the problem. What should I do?
As I told you, God is telling you to do certain things for your own sake, no matter how harsh it sounds. Once I receive a certain direction, I must transmit it to you 100%, and I myself have to live it. My teaching is coming from God. Those among you who value my word and take it seriously will, in a way, be blessed more than me. You will never be ruined, and you will ever be destroyed; you can only prosper.
It is my duty to push you out all the way even if you hesitate, regardless of whether you like it or not. That’s love. When you live this teaching, then God will guarantee your own life, the life of your posterity, the life of your nation, of the world and of mankind. The showdown of such important success or failure is at hand.
Today, I mentioned that one word can be critical. Sometimes one word of a good and true teaching will change your life and bring you into great success. That word is coming this morning. Everyone who listens to my word, takes it 100% seriously, lives it and accomplishes it, will not be disappointed. We must not become people who just do nothing, who mull over the question of whether we should go or not. Instead, all we have to do is take the initiative and go. Then we can find out for ourselves that we will not be disappointed.
Respected people outside will say, “How crazy you are. Why did you become a slave of Rev. Moon? I have never seen such a fool.” Do you have the courage to overcome that kind of reaction?
Let me tell you one episode from my past. Many times in North Korea and one time in South Korea I was in jail. There was one ardent member following me around that time, but he became tired and left. Then he read in the newspaper that l was going to jail. At that time many members were trying to encourage me, saying, “Don’t worry, Father. You just wait; we shall do 1000 times more than you.” But this particular person came to the prison, curious to see how I looked. He happened to be in such a position that I met him face to face, and I will never, never forget that man’s statement. He said to my face, “You fool, are you still doing this?” What he meant was, “I am smart. I know what is the best way to live. But you are foolish. Are you going to continue your crazy life for eternity? You’re going to ruin yourself that way!”
But what happened? Today after 20 years, that man is gone. He thought he had the most successful, prosperous life. He thought he was very smart, but that man was ruined. In the meantime God has been continuously raising me up as a worldwide figure. I remember back to those difficult days when so many people came and heard the Divine Principle and were so excited. But as soon as they realized that the road of the Divine Principle was not easy, those who were clever and ambitious in a secular way quietly dropped away. Particularly in the early days of the Unification Church, they would not stay. They thought that they were smart and those remaining inside were foolish. Now, 20 years later, what’s happening in Korea? If they have even survived, those smart people are coming to our members trying to get a minor job. Now they want to be benefited by the church, saying, “I used to be a member. Can you help me?” Now they realize that we are in a position to help them, and they are coming to beg for positions.
The same thing will happen right here. In America we will see a repetition of our movement’s history in Korea. After I came to this country, I was mistreated. All the mass media attacked me, yet I have disregarded it and gone on with my own plan. Under those circumstances a normal person would have collapsed or been destroyed a long time ago. But instead of being destroyed, my work through the Unification Church is getting stronger and prospering more every day. Right here in New York we are now publishing our own newspaper. Right here we are having a festival in our own center. This is only one beginning here in America. Do you think I am creating my own empire with a throne, signing papers every morning? Not at all. I don’t even have a little desk of my own. The secret of my success is simple. All I am doing is listening to God and absolutely trying to enforce His will. That’s all I do. As the Bible says, “He who seeks to lose his life for my sake will find it.” That’s the creed I have been living.
So this morning, let us seriously think about our future. We have two years to go, 1977 and 1978. How far will you go? There are many ways to go all the way. You can go all the way relaxed and in slow motion. Which way are you going? Like the Apollo? Everybody’s lining up now for a long marathon race. I will say “Go!” But if there are 1500 people, at the goal line we will have 1500 different arrival times. Where do you want to place? First or last? Only one arrival can be first.
The marathon runners in the Olympics run for two and a half hours. When they cross the starting line, are they really committed or not? When Olympic winners are running, are they thinking, “Who is my date tonight? Where should I enjoy my vacation? What should I eat tonight? Which restaurant should I go to?” Will that kind of man end up in first place? Never! That’s against God’s rule.
The person who wins has absolute concentration. His ‘whole body is focused on the goal. He thinks, “Nothing but victory, nothing but victory. I may die, but I don’t care 1 will go to the end.” That person will win. This morning, you are on the starting line; you can all be marathon champions.
Many people comment that the Unification Church members are smart, bright young people. Are you really? That means that the elite of American society has gathered together in the Unification Church. Since you are the brilliant young people of America, I’m sure that your judgment would not be wrong. I’m proud of having the elite of America in our church. America is a first class nation in the world, and you are citizens of that country, so compared to you I may be considered second or third class, right?
When you say Korea, people think, “That’s a backward country, a trashcan.” I came from that country, so I feel that if I do not fulfill my promise to God, He may have room to forgive me because I came from such a country. But if you do not fulfill your promise to God, God will not forgive you. You have come from a great country, and you are the elite of America. With the pride of being the elite of America, citizens of this most advanced nation, leaders of the free world, you have made a covenant with God. Then you are going to fall behind the Japanese? Are you behind the Koreans?
When you go horseback riding, do you want to ride a little pony, or a beautiful championship horse? When you compare nations to horses, America is like a championship horse, really beautiful and tall, brilliant. Compared to that horse, the Japanese people are like little ponies. You feel good to hear that, but the Japanese certainly don’t! Yet it is the truth.
Yesterday I announced that I have already laid the firm foundation for building the Kingdom of God here on earth. No one can destroy this foundation. Upon this foundation anybody can go out and be prosperous. Since I am here in America, I want to give my trust first to the American people.
So far, many people have trusted America, many Asian nations, many African nations. But then America backed down and they were disillusioned. is that true or not? Now I have come from Asia and I am going to trust the American people completely. if you retreat, what will happen? Will you disappoint me? Are you going to be different Americans? You should not continue America’s backward, retreating tradition. You must be the ones to take this initiative, to accomplish the mission. Can you do it?
I will wait and see. I will watch everyone perform. I want to really see what Americans can do. To show your own strength, you should not need members from other countries. The Japanese really shouldn’t be needed. None of the foreign members should be needed. nose here who think, “In every cell, in my spirit and soul and appearance, in every way I am 100% American,” raise your hand. You are really Americans, and you have made a covenant with God. Then when you run, are you going to be in first place or last place? Are you going to be conscientious in witnessing, and talk from morning to night, with your lips all overworked and blistered? I have blisters as a matter of fact. Would you work that hard? Or will you just talk a couple of hours and then rest and eat ample food, and then maybe do a little more? When you go to your mission, will you need an automobile? Most Americans would say, “We must sit and wait for an automobile.” Would you walk? Run? You know the answer. You have already read my mind. You are really elite!
Tell me the truth. Have you Americans really, really demonstrated the dignity of America to the members from abroad? Have you really shown America’s pride and capability? What I am saying is very simple. I will give Americans the first chance. If you want it, take it; if you don’t, refuse, and it will go to somebody else. Will you take it?
Let’s sweep the fifty states. I came, one man from Korea, sweeping across these United States in three and one half years. Now here are 1500 here and all together many thousands of our young people. Do we have the capability to sweep through all fifty states? Can you pledge before heaven and earth as your covenant to God that you will do it?
The Unification Church vans will say, “Boy, I wish I could go somewhere else because the Unification Church members are driving me twenty-four hours a day. They never let me rest even a couple of hours. I wish I could have another master.” Do you mind hearing such a complaint from your own van? Maybe your van will complain, but at the same time heaven and earth will echo with every step of yours. Heaven and earth will resonate together with your every action.
Heaven and earth will answer the vans of our church, and they will say, “Stop complaining. If you know that much, you will end up in the museum of heaven and earth. You will be honored. Don’t complain; stop nagging.” Even the vans will get excited, “Me? Me? I will end up in a museum? Let me run 24 hours. Never mind, I won’t complain.” That automobile will fulfill a historical mission.
So who is going to produce this museum piece? Who is going to be the historical person who will drive that particular van so that it ends up in the museum? I’m sure one thing is absolutely clear. It will be a woman. These men, to be honest, are useless people. A couple of days ago there were assignments being made to the MFT, and IOWC. At that time the Japanese MFT leaders came to me and said, “Father, could you give us more sisters? The men don’t produce so much. The women are the ones who really do the work.” Why don’t you men give them a big applause?
Are you going to be defeated by these heroic women? So far your record shows you have been inferior to them. However, would you say then, “Father, maybe in the past something was wrong, but from today on, I promise you it is going to be different’?” These women are very clever. They applaud you, knowing that I will make you very strong and courageous; after all, you will become their husbands some day!
The Unification Church has gone over one important hill of victory. We have come to the pinnacle of the mountain, but that’s not the end of it. At this junction of history, Jan. 2, 1977, we have a most momentous opportunity to shoot for an even higher mountain, a higher goal, or we could decline. Let’s say you are an MFT member. You’ve been working very hard, day in and day out, and one day you’re so discouraged, you cannot go on anymore. You feel you must pack up and leave. At that very moment, you may miss the most important person, a billionaire, with a big heart, ready to be ignited by the Divine Principle. If that one per-son came in, he could solve all the economic problems of our church by himself. Then as an MFT member you would have so narrowly missed that one great opportunity.
You never know when you might encounter such a person, at midnight, 4:30 in the morning, noon. Therefore you have to be alert twenty-four hours a day. So even when you go to the bathroom, say, “Heavenly Father, I have to spend the next few minutes in the bathroom. Could you watch for me?” That kind of feeling. Every minute of the day you are going to be alert. There is no time to be relaxed or off guard.
Witnessing is just the same. You are meeting people, young and old, and you have no idea what kinds of people you are meeting. Maybe you are witnessing to a person who will become President of this nation twenty or thirty years later. Maybe you are witnessing to a relative of the future President, to the very person who will guide the destiny of the free world. One man can change the world. Maybe that person is in the street, in the hamburger shop, maybe in the hospital. He may look very ugly and crippled at the moment. You never know. You can most ardently look for such a man. Pray, “Heavenly Father, give me one man who can change the destiny of this nation, who can change the shape of the world. Give me the chance to witness to such a man, to win such a Person’s heart.” Those who are always striving toward such a goal will always come up with the result.
You Americans and your nation of America are in the position to carry the destiny of the future world. God has placed upon your shoulders the greatest mission of all. We have been looking forward to the opportunity to change the destiny of the world. It is now at hand. We are the ones who can grab it. We can finally fulfill the expectation of God here on earth. I am Korean and have many handicaps. You are American. You should be able to do three times as much as I can do. Can you do it? Raise your hands and pledge that goal to me. Thank you.