I have come to a point in my life that I am pretty sure that I need glasses. How do I know this? Well, I first noticed this when I was trying to read labels of medicine bottles to give to Ben when he had COVID two weeks ago. I noticed how impossible it was to read the labels to figure out he correct dosage according to his weight. So instead of thinking, "I better get glasses" immediately. I ignored this incident and went to the internet to find the correct dosage of medicine.
It's funny to think that improving vision is not a priority on my to do list. But then I really started to pay attention to it when I went fishing yesterday evening with the dog. I went to Raystown Dam to target smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and northern pike. I caught a small pike and noticed that I needed to retie my fishing lure because the fishing line was all frayed up. So, I began tying the knot, and then I realized I am having an awfully hard time seeing the dang fishing line go into the line tie of the fishing lure. I knew at that moment…. I need to get glasses right now. My vision is all sorts of blurry.
I went home in the evening and told Eunkyung (my wife) what happened and that my conclusion is to go and see an eye doctor. She was shocked that I didn’t go earlier. It literally took me a fishing trip and not being able to tie fishing knots comfortably, was the reason to get my vision checked.
Eunkyung is right, I should have checked my vision much earlier. It’s absurd to think that improving vision is not a priority. We should make that a priority. It’s like I keep saying, “Ehh, I’ll see tomorrow… I don’t have time to see today!” That is crazy. See now, man!
But think about if we ignore how blurry our physical vision is, what about our spiritual vision. If we hardly pay attention at the importance of physical vision, imagine how much more we would ignore our spiritual vision! Yikes! I better get my spiritual vision checked as well!
The thing is that improving your spiritual vision is not as easy as just putting some kind of glasses on. Spiritual vision takes a lot of work. It’s not just needing to pray more or go to church more or read the bible more. It is all of those things plus more. You have to practice the character of Christ, model His behavior. It is about being attentive to the voice of God through scripture. Read the word and do what the word says to do. But that’s not all either! Yes! There is more! It is about paying attention to everything that is going on in the world. It is about knowing what is happening in the world and instead of reacting about how we feel about the current events, it's about contemplating and wondering what is it that God wants us to do, even if that means it is contrary to what I am comfortable with. Improving spiritual vision is all about challenging ourselves to match our vision with Gods vision. This isn’t easy and often times God will put you in difficult situations that may change the way you normally think and do.
Just remember if improving your physical vision is important to you, which it should be. Just remember that improving your spiritual vision is also vital to live a better life. A life that involves hard work and challenges. Improving spiritual vision is all about imagining a better world not just for yourself but for other people. Imagine the world that God envisions. A world that replaces words like competition with compassion; hate with love; and selfishness with selflessness.
So, what is it going to take for you to improve your spiritual vision? In order for me to get better vision for me, was that I felt that I lost something that once was easy for me, that was tying fishing knots. So, what is it that you feel you lost, or feel that you are losing that requires you to make changes to have a better understanding of the vision that God has given you.
So last week on Thursday morning I found out that I tested positive for COVID. I knew it was going to eventually happen. I was just sort of waiting for it.
Ben first got it from school (most likely, because that it sit he only place he is social or goes other than home.) Ben had it last Monday. So the doctor tells us that he is going to be staying at home for the next 5 days and then after this he can go out but has to wear a mask for 5 more days. I figured that now Eunkyung and I are going to being close contact with a COVID positive person 24/7 it was inevitable that we would get it. We weren’t too concerned with Norah, since she already got it, not too long ago, and somehow all of us managed to escape getting it due to Norah’s diligence of staying clean, washing her hands, cleaning up her area and being really attentive to touching her face.
But, this is Ben. He is a lot less careful than Norah, so it was only a matter of time that we would get it. And soon enough Thursday morning Eunkyung and I were feeling sick, and we tested positive. Nice. So again protocol says that we have to quarantine for 5 days and then are able to go out after but having to wear a mask for 5 days.
So right now, it is day 6 for my wife and me. We are able to go out. To be honest, I still feel pretty sick, but I have to get groceries, and take kids to school, and take Suzie to the vet, I got stuff to do. However, Eunkyung, wanted to test herself because her work asked her to be tested to see if she can come back to work. However, Eunkyung test still came out positive, so her work told her to stay home until she can test negative, which should take 10 days. And I tried myself, and as of today (Wednesday) I am still positive.
So, few questions I hope I can answer for all of you that must be wondering, all about this COVID crap. First one, is my symptoms and how bad is it. And the next question is why I am able to be out of quarantine even if I am still testing positive.
My symptoms… they were mild for the most part. First thing I felt was cold chills on Wednesday evening and night, then my entire body was sore and achy, and I had a massive headache. But Excedrin and Motrin really helped with those. I was heavily congested and a little runny nose in the beginning. I never got the sore throat or coughing until day 3 of testing positive. I never lost my test or smell, and I never really lost my appetite. I did find myself being often confused and easily irritable (still feel this way as of today). But that’s about it. It is day 6 and I am still positive.
My wife, she had it bad! She had severe flu like symptoms. No appetite, cold chills, fever, coughing, sore throat, body aches, headaches, sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and a lot of pain. Eunkyung’s symptoms were very different from mine. She felt like this for the next 3-4 days. Only as of yesterday and now today, she feels totally better. She still has the coughs, but that is about it. She is still positive as of today.
Ben didn’t have much of anything. He had a high fever for 3 days about 104.0 degrees, lethargic, and cough. But after three days he seemed fine. He is on day 9 or 10, not sure. He is negative.
Norah, still negative. She had COVID a few months back. During that time, she was the only one in our household that was positive. She was really good at being clean, self-sufficient, washing her hands and face, and not touching her face. So, we assumed that she has built in immunity to it for now.
So, why are we allowed to come out of quarantine after 5 days, even if we test positive? Well according to health experts, they found out that the first 5 days after testing positive for COVID is the most dangerous time period. That is the time when COVID is easily spread to other people. After that, it is not so easily spread to others, even if symptoms are still present. However, for 5 days we are told to still wear a mask because COVID is still present.
Talking to a good buddy of mine that is an expert on infectious diseases and is a virologist, told me that I should be able to go out with a mask on and not worry about spreading the disease.
He still recommends me not to be social in anyway. But he said that I can do worship, but should keep a distance away from people, and still be mindful of people who are considered to be the at risk age group or people who have health concerns. The next five days, means that I could potential spread COVID, since it is present in my system, but it is just far less transmissible to others.
So, there you have it. I still have COVID… and I will probably continue having it until Saturday. SO, in the meantime, if I must go out, I am going to mask up and do it. It looks like my wife might be going back to work on Friday, only if she can test negative tomorrow. I should be fine by Sunday. Again, even right now I am still feeling sick, but I am feeling much better.
Overall, COVID, not too bad. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, and it was like having a bad cold or mild flu (for me). For Eunkyung, it was like having a flu. For Ben, nothing. Anyways, I hope this was helpful information for everyone. Everyone, stay healthy and stay safe. God bless you all.
Now I know Christmas is already passed and that most people have already taken down most of their Christmas decorations. But I do want to make you all think about something just a little more.
And it is still amazing to me that the birth of Jesus Christ was almost forgotten on that night in Bethlehem. It crazy to really think about it…. The Son of God, the Messiah, actual God being born on earth was nearly forgotten if it weren’t only for the wisemen and the shepherds.
It’s wild to think that the birth of God would have such little fanfare or even audience. You think, that if God were born, there should be a massive announcement, a parade, an enormous preparation, but there isn’t!
And it’s not like this was a lowkey, unknown event in time. The prophets have foretold the brit of Jesus (God with Us) a long time ago, actually announcing a virgin birth and in a smalltown of Bethlehem. And even when Jesus was born, it’s not like God wasn’t giving the world signs. A might a bright star shining day and night? Or how about a choir of angels in a nearby field in Bethlehem? Don’t tell me that nobody in Bethlehem saw a bunch of angels at night just outside the city? And don’t tell me that a star shining day and night isn’t enough for someone to look up and wonder, that is quite “odd.” But it was…. Nobody took notice.
It is as if Jesus had a birthday party and invited the entire world and only a few shepherds and wisemen showed up. I now wondered whether the world even wanted Jesus to come, and that more so Jesus came to the earth as an uninvited guest, someone that nobody wanted or even cared about. Now I totally understand that Jesus tells of parables about weddings in which people are invited but nobody came.
Daggum sad I say! Seriously, Jesus, who is God, is born…. and where is everyone? Make you think if Jesus was unwanted back then, is he even wanted right now, today? But here is the amazing thing that we should all remember.
As Christian we give our life, our worship, our devotion to the Triune God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We know how important the birth of Emmanuel was back then and how much more significant it is now… for us. But what about the rest of the world? The amazing part is that even if the world doesn’t want God or even recognize the birth of God among us and fail to even recognize God in this world… God still came to us. Yes, that is the amazing God that we worship. No matter what, God chose to be with us and took a huge gamble and risk in coming here, even when a majority of people fail to seek the birth of God on earth. To God… it doesn’t matter the amount of people that may love Him, but each person that is eager to find God, means the entire world to God.
This is the amazing God who came to us. A God who needs no fanfare, no attention, no parade, or special attention. This is a God who isn’t depended on our recognition of Him. The God who came to us, only is eager to be with us, no matter what. Whether we recognize Him or not He continues to bless us and the people around us and the world with things that give joy, love, peace, and warmth. God will continue to be the God with Us. Maybe we need to start looking for the obvious signs around us that point to the heart of God. Let’s hope that in 2023, we start anew and refreshed. Let’s start seeking how obvious God’s love, peace, and gentleness is so embedded in this world and in our personal lives.
So, what games do your kids play at home? My kids are usually doing one of the two things. First thing they do is play on their tablets. Sometimes it is playing games or sometimes it is watching parent approved YouTube videos. The other thing they do very often together is role playing.
It’s cool, because I love having little “LARP”ers around. LARP as in Live Action Role Playing. They pretend to be knights and princesses, or kings and queens slaying dragons, trolls, and other unworldly beasts. Sometimes they dress up, but mostly not. Or they will role play as being student and teachers in school, or role-playing camping adventures in the house, or a cooking… you know what I would consider normal stuff.
But then I just overheard my daughter say something, that I am a bit curious about. I heard my daughter say to my son, “I am the moderator! You must listen to me!” What? Then I hear, “Ben, you have the floor, you may speak, but you have 5 minutes!” Umm… what? Then I hear, “You sir, are out of order! I am the moderator; you must obey my commands!” Uhh… what?
Ok, so most of you reading this knows that I am a pastor at Ward Ave. Presbyterian Church. I am the moderator of the session for this church and now I just started being the moderator for the larger church as well in the region. My daughter knows what I do, she has been to plenty of church meetings and presbytery meetings and even probably listened in on a lot of synod and national PCUSA meetings. Now I know she knows that I am a pastor, and that I act as moderator sometimes. But I do not think she quite knows what moderator means.
But looking at her role-playing activity last morning, I am concerned that her actions are only a reflection of my actions? I hope I don’t sound like a dictator in my meetings! I mean, yeah….
Norah’s got the pint of moderator, but I don’t think I ever sound like that?! At least I hope not!
Also, why the heck is she doing role playing games with church and pastor! That’s not what normal kids do! Come on! Do like, cops and robbers, or knights and dragons, or housekeeping games, or just whatever that normal everyday kids do! Who the heck role plays church meetings? I know… apparently my kids… and apparently my kids think that I am just some kind of authoritarian yelling man in my meetings. Where in the heck did they get that idea?!
So anyways, for today, Norah is the moderator, so Ben better stay within the boundaries of an ordered meeting. I gotta steer them into normal games here… maybe it’s time to play some “Guess Who?”
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).