Associate Pastor’s Spiritual Reflection
The Beauty of Responding and Reflection
By the Rev. Mia MiKyung Park
Life is a series of anticipated and unexpected events that shape and test our abilities to resist, adapt, and be flexible. How we react to these events greatly influence our overall well-being and growth. While our initial reactions may be instinctive and immediate, it’s essential to learn the beauty of responding and reflecting, so we may navigate life’s challenges with grace and wisdom.
I love to plan out events, so when I encountered an unexpected event or when something doesn’t go as planned, I become upset with overwhelming annoyance, fear, or frustration. This summer, I experienced many events that did not go as I planned.
My plan to have my mom and a sister in June ended up including my mom, three sisters, and one brother-in-law. During the pandemic, my family’s ability to host guests diminished. I thought having two guests at a time would be manageable and thought it would become a great opportunity to begin hosting families in the future. Having five guests at once for three weeks was a challenge for sure, especially when they had to adjust to a different time zone. It created so much stress and frustration, that I began to blame the situation that I couldn’t control or to resent something that I feel I created. My spouse John and I had a couple of intentional conversations because of what we observed from each other in those situations caused us overwhelming stress and frustration. We remembered Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Later, we managed to respond to situations with more gratitude and flexibility by learning to pause, take a step back, and objectively assess the situation instead of reacting with frustration and annoyance. This allows us to make an appropriate response, rather than being driven by our immediate emotions as a reaction.
Now I am reflecting on my family’s visit, which I couldn’t ask for more. The visit was blessed, beautiful, but chaotic. Each day was full of sharing, laughter, and tears. There were some days when I just needed a separate break from the family, which reminded me that what I feel and experience is important, but it’s even more important how I express it.
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived!”
During the time of reflection, I ask myself: How did I respond initially, and why? Did my response align with my values and long-term goals? What can I learn from this event? By contemplating these questions, I gain self-awareness and clarity, enabling me to make positive changes and avoid repeating past mistakes. The time of reflection provides me with an opportunity to learn from my experience, gain valuable insights, grow as a new creation, and deepen my understanding of the sovereign God.
We recently finished Vacation Bible School 2023. It was certainly a time of growth as individuals and as a community through the lessons of our “Food Truck Party”. I am grateful to all who participated with hands to serve, time, donations, and prayers.
The August Bible memorization of the Church School is Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
I express my gratitude to all who serve and love our children, youth, and young families.
Let us continue to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God!
The Rev. Mia MiKyung Park serves as the Associate Pastor of Blaine Memorial UMC.