Record-Setter Of History
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
July 1, 1979
Belvedere, New York
Translator: Bo Hi Pak
Whenever a champion enters a contest or major competition, his foremost desire is to set a new record. For example, in the Olympic games all the contestants go hoping to set a new record. To do so they have to follow all the rules and regulations set forth by the Olympic committee. A new record cannot be set just by doing things at random, but only within strictly disciplined limits. No matter how capable an athlete you may be, the moment you violate any rules not only the judging committee but all the other participants as well will rule against you. The judges will disqualify you and you will lose your chance. That is the most fundamental thing a champion must remember — he must obey all the rules of any competition.
Sometimes the rules change and then you have to understand and obey the new rules. All competition heads toward the matching of better and better contestants.
When we talk about records, the first thing that comes to mind is athletic games, but actually there are far greater competitions going on at higher levels. Nations are competing with each other in world affairs, and we can also consider each nation as one stadium where competitions are being held. Do you think there are rules on all those levels as well?
Certainly the people of each nation must follow the rules, and not only that, but follow tradition as well. A nation can set a record among other nations, but to do so it must clearly abide by the rules of international competitions; it must be recognized and respected by a multitude of other nations. In this game different nations are champions while mankind are the spectators, with God acting as the judge or referee. In our world today there are two ideologies in competition — democracy and Communism. It is an invisible, yet bitter battle between the two.
We can see confrontation and competition in every area of our lives. In America here we see on-going political competition between the political parties trying to win power in government. Here again, certain rules must be followed. In every arena of competition there is a law, a kind of covenant which clearly sets forth the goal and is derived from the tradition of the past. This phenomenon is everywhere — in government, schools, families, every facet of our lives.
In order to become the greatest champion you begin as a small competitor, starting in local competitions, then state, then regional, before you enter national competition. That is the way champions are selected. I can draw an important conclusion here, that our lives and careers are always exposed to some kind of competition. That’s life. We eat and sleep and handle mundane things every day, but in addition we are each engaged in some kind of competition. Your eating and sleeping is for the purpose of maintaining your well — being so that you can be a winner. Who is going to be a victorious person who sets the record?
The ultimate competition is that of life. If there is a way to win that competition, it is the ultimate, and for that goal we should be able to give all kinds of sacrifice. In that competition we want to be victorious and set the record. Which direction should we go? What will our strategy be?
Suppose there is a competition in track; the fastest man cannot win if he runs anywhere else except the track because no one will acknowledge his accomplishment. The way you want to do things is unimportant because the rules are all-important. Each champion is required to run around the track. Perhaps one contestant might think he is clever and plan to run across the track instead of around it. Some people in our world think about how to get around the rules and snatch the victory and they ridicule those who follow the rules and do things the hard but legitimate way.
How many in America are trying faithfully to abide by the rules? Many people in America today lead lawless lives and they see no reason to abide by the laws or put up with authority figures, like parents and teachers. People have come by this wrong idea by thinking that they have freedom from any restraints. They want to know why they aren’t recognized as the victors, but theirs isn’t the logical way of doing things is it?
Unless you abide by the rules of the school, you cannot pass your courses and no one will give you credit. Competition in life is just the same. In school you may complain about required reading or tough homework; you feel the pressure of measuring up to regulations and getting a good report card. You may feel as though you are being hung by the system, imprisoned by it, but actually your liberation comes when you fulfill triumphantly, not by avoiding it but by confronting it. Then you are free and the school, the teachers and even the books will welcome you.
In school the teachers, the dean, the other students are all competitive, yet you can truly achieve the level where people can’t help but recognize you for your accomplishments. That is real liberation in school. Without that accomplishment there is no freedom and you will always be under pressure.
Where can we truly find human freedom? Freedom can only come after the requirements are fulfilled. Freedom comes within discipline, within the law. It is not abuse or license. There is law everywhere: If you disregard nature’s laws, you will die; this nation is governed by law; the world is under law. Therefore, you will be triumphant in freedom when you triumph within that law, not outside of it. The law is the most common sense direction. For example, there is a certain way a spoon is to be used. If you use it right side up it is useful, but if you turn it upside down or on end it won’t be any good. There is a common sense way to use a spoon well.
The law is always seeking the optimum situation. In history that optimum law continues and is universal, needed by everyone. There is no law that prevents you from blinking your eyes. It is nature’s necessity. Yet there is an optimum way of blinking the eyes, perhaps a certain number of times a minute. Then there is a way of blinking too much that is detrimental. Even in such a small thing it is noticeable when someone does something outside the law. In everything there is an optimum way, even in breathing. There is an optimum way to listen; no particular facial expression is required. How you sit can also be evaluated, as well as how you dress. There are certain rules to follow. The law is not there to harass you but to guide you to the ideal situation.
Sometimes we resent the law, but in this perspective is law a necessity? Liberation always comes through fulfillment of the law. With the fulfillment of family law, for instance, you shall be liberated centered upon the family. Some people might wonder why they need parents or brothers or sisters, or why they have to sleep in a bed instead of anywhere they choose. That attitude will eventually bring that person to destruction. The man who tries to live like that would never even think of setting a new record, and even if he did, no one would recognize it or give him credit. Even a mechanical device moves precisely as it is designed to do, following certain principles.
Here in America some people claim to be patriots and champions of the nation. The patriot is a law-abiding person, not the one who disregards the law as being too clumsy. Without even knowing the laws, can you claim to be a good citizen? If you actually try to live up to every article of the U.S. legal code, you could spend your whole lifetime just trying to understand it. What I mean here is the spirit of the law, the attitude that by following certain principles everyone can be benefited, not just individuals.
The law always follows certain patterns based on experiences of the past, moving in the direction which benefits the most people. When we look at the behavior of Americans today, we see that most of them are ill with “excess freedom.” They are freedom-crazy. Will anyone say that is not true? No matter how prominent or exceptional you try to make yourself, if you don’t understand the true spirit of freedom or the true meaning of tradition, whatever record of accomplishment you make will have no purpose. For America to truly enjoy freedom, each individual must be disciplined in the law of the nation. If a person is triumphant in that way then he will truly set a new record.
Our life is already a competition, so we must learn how best to engage in that art. First, we must acknowledge the past and its tradition. Also, we must recognize the necessity of the present time and recognize a certain vision that can be welcomed by the future. These three conditions must be met. What is the central game or event in the Olympic Games? What is the most spectacular game? There is no question about it: The Olympic marathon is always the central game, in the past, present and future. A marathon is the longest race, so is it easy or tough to run? It would be easy to cover the distance in a helicopter, but to win the race you have to cover every inch of ground on foot. There is a common definition of why the marathon is spectacular, why it is recognized as a great achievement. In it a person has to give his own sweat and labor for a great distance. To run that race is a great strain, and people have died attempting it.
What is our marathon in life? Again, it requires going the longest distance against the toughest odds. In our arena of life competition there must be some central event. Philosophy is one area, sport another; the cultural and academic worlds and field of religion are also areas. Each of them is a game in life. Which of these goes the longest distance? Christianity has talked about the coming of Christ for 2,000 years and still it is not known how many more years it will take. Truly the religious arena involves the longest distance.
Is the religious way of life an easy way? In religious competition the regulations are stringent. For example, you have to fast, endure suffering, be humble and avoid temptations. Religious competition seems totally apart from common sense. For instance, Jesus said, “Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” What kind of dilemma is that? Many people just cannot put up with it. People may look like slaves under religious rules.
God knows that He imposed the toughest of all rules in religious competition, but He is doing so because He has to select one champion. Will He pick one politician or academic? God must pick from the toughest arena of all areas of human life, which is religion.
Does anyone like religion? You are crazy; that’s why you like it! You live only one life on earth so it is an acceptable desire to want to go the toughest course and meet the toughest challenge of all. As ambitious young men and women, what area would you prefer to set records in? We recognize that religion is the arena that everyone must ultimately participate in.
Suppose this circle is the globe. We are heading toward the highest pinnacle, starting from all directions and going out. Some people may come close, but miss by a few inches and then have to go all the way around again to try. The person going this route doesn’t see the overall picture, just the same angle and height, so even if he reaches the top he may not realize it. So far no explorer has gone over the entire planet to make a map with clear directions to the pinnacle. Without clearly defining their goal, many people just keep walking, wasting their lives.
Human ambition is a great thing. For instance, many people deeply desire to climb the tallest mountains. Recently two ambitious Korean climbers wanted to climb Mt. McKinley; they made it to the top, but on the way down they met with disaster and were killed. They came all the way from Korea to die on Mt. McKinley!
Because religion has not given man a clear map or course, mankind has suffered tremendous harm in seeking to fulfill religious ambitions. Without knowing the goal clearly many people made attempts to reach the pinnacle but died along the way. Do we have to give up religion because of that? No, because religion is man’s ultimate destiny. Can you eliminate the marathon from the Olympics simply because it is so tough? If so, the Olympics will no longer be exciting. There is no question that the religious field is tough, and because of that the world’s people ultimately must be interested in religion.
What arena are you in? Did you come here to make money, or to be a famous politician or to get married? You are actually champions in this toughest of all arenas in life. We have clearly defined the goal so that we shall not falter but go on to set the new record. New champions always emerge to surpass the records of the past, and the same is true in religion. What past saints and prophets have said is not the ultimate statement of faith so we look forward to a new record being set. Therefore, we are inheriting the record and tradition of the past, as well as recognizing the present, and going forward to set the record that will remain in the future.
There is no other church or religion that has inherited the past more perfectly than this one. For example, the Bible records an account of the fall, but many contemporary religions regard the fall as nonsense. Yet we absolutely know that it did happen, and not only that, but how it took place. We recognize everyone in the Bible — Adam, Noah, Abraham — as well as internal things about the dispensation that are not even explained in the Bible. We know precisely what happened. There is no doubt that the Unification Church has absolutely inherited the tradition of the past. History is on our back; we stand on the foundation of the history of God.
We know many hidden secrets about what went wrong in the past, such as the failures of the central figures which the Bible does not explain. Therefore, we know precisely why certain faiths and religions failed in the past. By knowing this we have a new set of tools which will not fail us. There are many scholars and theologians who concentrated their study on the Old Testament, but when we ask them certain questions they have no answers; yet we know the answers, which are only common sense.
It is a natural conclusion that the Unification Church has a most authentic historical inheritance. The New Testament is also a book of mystery, but we have brought it into the sunlight, explaining the mission of Jesus, how he came, and what he tried to do. We know in what way the New Testament dispensation was not completed, that Jesus came to marry, not to die as a single man. These things are so shocking to conventional Christians that they practically have heart attacks hearing us, but when you come to the bottom line, who has the most realistic view of the situation? Our proclamation today is so drastic and dramatic that millions of Christians around the world look at us as heretics. Which view is more faithful to the Bible and to the will of God? Our philosophy and belief is certainly the one.
The tenth anniversary of the moon walk is coming shortly, and people are thinking all the time about it. There are many philosophically minded people in the world today, and they are all caught in one universal disease, which we call moon-phobia. Already people look at you as an extension of Reverend Moon. Are you?
We are not in politics or economics, but in the religious arena. Are we in an exciting or dull game? Are we the winners in the competition with contemporary Christianity? We are running in the marathon with the Christians of the world. They are accustomed to resting when they are tired and eating when they are hungry, but we take the kitchen and water tank right along with us so we don’t have to stop. The conventional religious way of thinking is that the preacher preaches and the congregation pays his salary, but the Unification Church doesn’t work that way. We create our own money and resources, and in the process I have accumulated many titles by starting work in many areas.
We are talking about a new game with new rules in a new arena. The old ways will not work in this new arena so we have custom made our way of doing things for the new. We are determined not to be defeated but to be victorious in the religious Olympics. We have been called heretics, but even those name callers cannot disregard us. Even while they are accusing us they are learning our methods. It is common sense that all the runners in a race as well as the spectators focus on who is in the lead because they want to beat him.
The Unification Church has definitely inherited the traditions of the past and we have also devised a realistic way of doing things. We are not in the clouds but on solid ground. We also have a realistic future vision of how to bring down the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, and we are not just talking about it but living it. What is it? Home Church.
Many people in the religious arena are going in circles at random but we are going in a straight line, like an arrow to the bulls-eye. Did God say that one of the rules was that the champion in the religious arena had to be a white man? Must he also be an American citizen, or adhere to the democratic way of doing things? Or did God leave the door wide open so anyone can participate in this most difficult of marathons?
The Unification Church is a spiritual athlete in this toughest game. What will the trophy be? The love of God is the ultimate reward. We alone in the Unification Church are talking about the heart of God, the love of God for the world, nation, family and individual. Suppose the winner of the marathon was an American. When he entered heaven I am sure he would go first to the treasure house where the jewels are stored. Another champion might go first to the world of culture and the arts. Another champion might go first to the dining room, while yet another might look for the department store and wardrobe room to get all the things he lacked on earth.
When the Unification Church runner enters that world, where will he go? You said he would go to the heart of God, and you know the heart of God is not in any of those places I mentioned. God has suffered so much that He is down in some storage room in the basement of heaven. If you found the heart of God in a corner covered with dirt and dust, what would you do? When you find Him there would you give a shout of Mansei in excitement, or cry out to find that the heart of God was burdened with so much suffering?
Then you would say, “Heavenly Father, don’t worry; now your child is here. Let me escort you out so you can really sit on your throne and receive joy from the world. I will make it happen. I didn’t come to receive glory from you, but to liberate you and ease your sorrowful heart. Since your heart has been suffering, the entire world has been suffering. I come to liberate your heart and in turn liberate the world.”
If you are a champion with that kind of goal and heart, do you feel you are going toward the noblest of all? Can you think of any higher goal than that? We are motivated and challenged for this purpose and goal, and there is nothing we cannot do; we can give all our money, our lives, any suffering necessary. We are a group of people gathered together who are crazy for God. Indeed, if you enter heaven in any but this way then there will be still more competition to go through. But when you set the liberation of God’s heart as your goal there is no higher place to go. Ultimately that is the highest.
I am motivated to achieve this goal and my will is of iron. No matter how people treat me, I am unswerving in this goal. I thought this conclusion out on my own, but do you think I was smart or dull? You came here to join, so are you smart or not? Are you better than me or less so? God keeps telling me that I think of things even He does not think of. God is asking me to be like that, and you as well. I am determined to do something that God could not do, and I am asking you to do things that I could not do. Would you smart men and women accept that challenge?
If other people sleep two hours, would you sleep only one hour? Normally people who try to drive after not sleeping at night will nod off at the wheel, but we are challenged by this extraordinary task and we will never sleep. We see the bulls-eye of God’s love so clearly that there is no moment we can be dull and sleepy. Since this is the moment of competition, how can we let up? In a boxing match your opponent could jab you at any moment so you must be alert to any eventuality. The arrow flying toward the target doesn’t care what anyone is saying.
Now nearly all of you are matched, and I can see that most of you still haven’t come back to earth yet. If you got the perfect match then do a perfect job to deserve it. You and your fiancée have to inspire each other, competing with each other and with other engaged couples. Life is a competition, after all. Will you accept the challenge? Are you fortunate to be in the Unification Church?
How many years will it take for you to win the marathon? Three, ten? Even for the unbeatable Reverend Moon it took sixty years to cover the course and still I have not finished the race. Last night after graduation at the seminary I took all the leaders fishing. It was in the midst of a thunderstorm and we were cramped in a little boat. Even though they didn’t say this, inside they were probably thinking, “What kind of Father are you? Can’t you have even one day to rest?” Even though I gave Col. Pak permission to be with his family that day and Col. Han didn’t go because he had only dress clothes to wear, I told them that really those were not acceptable reasons.
What does it matter if it is night or day once you are going toward this challenge? Would you prefer a leader with absolute determination, regardless? It is normal to rest after a day’s work, to have meals at mealtime and to sleep at night. But here our standard is to keep going for all 365 days. That is not acceptable to many people, but would you do it? Do you like my type of leadership?
You never hear me praising or complimenting anyone. I only push them harder. Do you like it? Why? Each time you are pushed by me you are going farther toward the goal, even though it is painful. If I am coming at night or at a difficult hour to see you, you may flee but under any circumstances don’t complain. The place to hide is home church.
What are we going to do? I want you to understand that the Unification Church is here to set the record, and in order to set the record you have to live in an abnormal way and go an incredible distance. There are two worlds of East and West today, and the Orientals want me to win big but the Western world is trying to push me down. There is a competition between the two worlds centering on me. Many governmental agencies are investigating us, which is a sign of how the Western world feels about me, wanting me to decrease. Even you are skeptical sometimes you may cheer me, but then when you look around and see that the rest of the country is not cheering, you feel doubtful. Whether America recognizes it or not, historical events are happening now. Why has this one individual become so controversial? Why are people so apprehensive about me? This kind of phenomenon is new to America.
Where do we go? To our pinnacle. How far away are we? Soon Americans will change and come to confess that they have evaluated all the other possible ways but they didn’t succeed, and the only way of hope is Reverend Moon’s way. Do you think that day will come soon? Do we have the capability to present hope to America? 10% or 100%? If America continues as it is will America decline or prosper? Would you leave it alone?
First you have to apply the brake. The 240 million people of America must be stopped, then turned around and headed toward the goal. Have you ever thought that sparks and heat will start flying when the brake is applied? Do you want to go first and have the brake applied on your back, or wait until next in line? Who will be the young people who can apply the brake 24 hours a day?
In the religious arena I want to be the champion. Who of you in the Unification Church wants to become the champion? Sometimes you are exuberant and answer me enthusiastically, but many times your answer turns out to be a lie. We need money and people to move America, but is the government going to provide the budget? Some rich foundation? No, they regard us as their enemies, so we will trade our blood for the money. Some people may worry about the social courtesies and their reputations, but who will worry about America’s decline? America’s future is more valuable than any of those things.
If we are too late to save America then the Unification Church is also part of America’s defeat. I want you to understand that our survival is directly linked to the survival of America; we must survive for the sake of America. America’s survival is vital because it means the survival of the free world. In the free world Korea will remain as well. If you think that the communists would not kill you if they had the chance then you don’t understand the reality of communism. That kind of consequence is not far away.
The ultimate confrontation over the championship is being waged now. In Japan we have won heated confrontations with the Communists. Here in America we are confronting the churches as well as Communism, and we will never avoid it. We are runners, and though we may feel suffocated at the moment, we keep running for we are in the marathon race.
We are not spectators, but participate in the race as champions. I am determined to be the champion in the arena of religion in history, determined to be a champion in the arena of the Unification Church. Ultimately the heart of God is our goal, and I want to liberate Him. Once you set that kind of record, it is the alpha and omega, and when God blesses such people, it brings consummation, completion.
When a person occupies love, he occupies all other authority and dignity as well. The record-setter is the kind of person God and history are looking at. God is expecting you to become one who sets the record, so this is a one-in-a-million opportunity. I am now investing much energy in the fishing industry and I am determined to make it successful. When you see my desire, you should put your shoulders to the job to be a champion in that arena. I would like to see all the seminarians and church leaders go for sea duty for one and a half years. At this time there is no master or host who is claiming or leading the American fishing industry because this is one arena God carved out and saved for the heavenly dispensation.
What if I supply sufficient fish and say that Unification Church members will eat nothing else for six months, not even bread? We will give all the good fish to the trade and eat the leftovers ourselves. Will God say we shouldn’t eat just the leftovers, or will He be touched? Who do we suffer for? For God and humanity. By doing it we are covering God with an invisible net, making Him our prisoner. All you have to do then is pull that net and God will have to follow you.
Did anyone in history ever have this kind of thinking and ideology? Look at me. All this time many people through the country have been trying to destroy or discredit me — in Korea, Japan and America — but I have survived and am still going strong. That in itself is a miracle. You think you do the Unification Church work, but in reality it is the spiritual world acting. All you have to do is set the condition. You are here as a remnant, not out of your own goodness, but because of spiritual pressure and guidance in dreams or visions. Does existing Christianity have such things? There is an amazing power behind us pulling us into oneness.
You have entered the competition in this arena now. Would you run with your full might, or only half-heartedly? Our Unification Church freedom is not just that of eating or sleeping and doing things as we like. Your real freedom comes through our victorious achievement, and then you will receive recognition that you are free. Before heaven and earth you will present yourself as the victor who won the race within the heavenly discipline and law. You strive to become a champion in this situation so that you can set a better record than anyone else, one which will command the respect of the people. Then you can be a victorious person before heaven and earth.
You men who think you are pretty smart, strong and capable, raise your hands. Now you confident women raise your hands. None? By worldly standards we may not be attractive or ideal, but we are applying to be champions of highest quality. Once you win this race, all the good men and women of the world will come bow down to you, however imperfect you may be. That is the kind of authority you will be given once you finish the race. Many women in particular agonize over their faces but that is useful thinking in the sense that they can turn that energy into service, into giving an additional kick to themselves. “My shortcomings will all be overcome when I set a record,” they think. That’s why God is sending ugly men and women to the Unification Church!
Since we are already lowly people here, we have nothing to lose. The amazing thing is that with this kind of attitude once you hang on until the end you shall be gloriously triumphant, a record-setter. We have records in witnessing, in MFT (Mobile Fundraising Team), in many arenas. I want you to be champions in your specific area. When we gather the record-breakers together to work we can set American records. Our combined effort will do that. I used to feel that Col. Pak was really pushing you for Home Church and I liked that, but nowadays Col. Pak is too gentle and not pushing enough. You can’t complain because I am commissioning him to push you, and the purpose is for you to become record-setters.
The Unification Church is here to be a champion and God is depending upon you. God wants you to set records on the universal scale, not just in one nation or organization.
Today is July 1, which usually falls on a Sunday. Those who will become record-setters, raise your hands. I want you to become record-breakers in every way. You can even set a record in eating, but at the same time you can fast more than anyone else. Even in sleeping set the record, all month long, but then stay awake all month and work. Set a record in putting on makeup — white people use black makeup and black people use white makeup. In sleeping don’t lie down in an ordinary way but lift your leg up in the air. When you sleep plug up your nose and don’t breathe the way ordinary people do. In the bathroom set the record for the shortest possible time, or sit down and stay all day long.
Do you understand what I have been saying? When you become a record-setter, then God will be a record-setter. Will you do it? Let us pray.