Sunday, April 17, 2005

Enjoying the process

Some exciting as well as challenging things are happening in my life, and I am anxious to see how they will eventually pan out.

But a very wise friend of mine admonished me to relax and "enjoy the process" as things unfold and reminded me of the importance of stopping and taking time to "smell the roses" along the way. My pastor once said that there is a reason why the present moment is called "present." Every moment is God's gift to be treasured and enjoyed. Oh, how I easily forget that.

As a UCLA football and basketball fan, and I try to watch every game from start to finish. During one of our usual fights for the remote control in our teenage years, my sister blurted out, "why can't you just watch the news and get the final score" to which I rolled my eyes in dismay.

It's how the game is played out, I tried to reason with her. The players involved, whether the ball is moved through the air or on the ground, the quarterback's poise and leadership under pressure, the linemen in the trenches, the intracacies of play calling by the coaches, and a host of sub-plots taking place on the field from kick off to the final whistle. Most sports fans know that the "process" involving how the drama unfolds throughout the game is why we like to watch and play sports, not just the final score. Two games with the identical score can be a world apart from each other in terms of drama and excitement.

Nobody likes to hear the conclusion of a movie or a novel without having watched or read it from the very first page, so why should life be any different? I personally cannot get enough of The Two Towers in the Lord of the Rings triology. Put a copy of it near me, and I will make a reflex lunge to it and get lost in it for the umpteenth time. Frodo's journey through the treacherous terrains of Emyn Muil. The appearance of Gallum. The fate of the Middle Earth hanging in the balance as Saruman's powerful army descends on Helm's Deep with the overwhelming show of force. The rapidly thickening plot through the many setbacks and deaths. Ah the drama! The courage from unlikely heroes. And this is the second of the triology. And it still has me riveted.

At times, I may not necessarily like the ending of a movie, but I often walk away savoring certain aspects of it such as the acting, memorable quotes, character development, poignent moments, etc. Likewise, many things in my life do not conclude in ways I like, but I am still entitled to treasure the aspects of the process and use them as sources of enrichment.

This poem sums up the perils of living in the future really well.
First I was dying to finish college and to start working.
Then I was dying to get married to have children.
And then I was dying for my children to grow up
so that I could go back to work.
And then I was dying to retire so that I might finally do
all the things I had always wanted to do.
And now I am retired and I am dying...
and suddenly I realize that I forgot to live.


At April 17, 2005 11:14 PM, Anonymous Dr. Balboa said...

I always enjoy your postings. This one was the most profound.
It seems that the poem captured the essence of living in the future very well.
Ray Steven's song "Mr Businessman" has a similar theme about enjoying what you have:

"You better take care of business, Mr. Businessman, what's your plan?
Take care of business, Mr. Businessman,
before it's too late
and you throw your life away...
Did you see your children growing up today,
and did you hear the music of their laughter,
as they set about to play?
Did you catch the fragrance of the roses
in your garden,
did the morning sunlight warm your soul, brighten up your day,
Do you qualify to be alive
Or is the limits of your senses so as only to survive..."
(full lyrics at:

I want to enjoy the process, rather than wait for the goal. I prefer to risk and be hurt and cry than be safe and never feel alive. Each day as my children were growing up, I savored the day like it could be my last. I enjoy the wife of my youth, and love her like I just returned from war. I want to grow as a man, and as a christian, with good qualities. But most of all that I enjoyed this life every day and was grateful to God for it. That is why I love the books by John Eldredge "Wild at Heart" and "Captivating". Be alive!

At April 18, 2005 7:27 AM, Blogger Just Rannin' Around said...

I think that the trick is to live every moment as if it were your last. It will make you realize that life is precious and to enjoy the moment.

So when are we going to see your entry?

At April 18, 2005 8:13 AM, Blogger David Cho said...

My draft is done, but I am very unhappy with it. Got a few lame spots which I would like to get rid of. Keeping it within 500 words is hard. It will go through several revisions.

At April 18, 2005 8:46 AM, Blogger HollyOak said...

I tend to live my life wanting to know the end from the beginning. I've been known to read the last page of a book before the rest, just to make sure I'll like it.
It's something I've been working on recently, just being happy with the journey and keeping stock of the lessons I learn on the way.
There's one situation in my life right now that I would love to know the end of, but I know that worrying about it isn't going to help it turn out well.
Thanks for the reminder that it's really about how you get there, not the final score.


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