Still, there is so much more to him than just playing tennis. Sometimes, because he can be quiet, we may think there is not that much going on behind his face. This weekend, one of the teams watching him play took to calling him “The Machine.” But I know nothing could be further from the truth. Behind the quiet is a man of gentleness, self-control, and prayer.
One of my favorite highlights of last year was having each of the players write a mission statement for the season that went beyond tennis. Byeong’s was this: As a brother, I co-create with God a team of joy and compassion by praying, encouraging others, and working hard with them. Some of my favorite memories of Byeong have come when he is praying and gently encouraging others. Last year, we had him lead a prayer in Korean for the team. And this year, after our Northridge match he sat and ate and gently encouraging one of his teammates who was having a bad day.
These traits - gentleness, prayer, and self-control - guide him in both life and tennis. I will never tire of watching him swing opponents one way and then bury a forehand down the line for a winner, watching him softly but solidly be in control. I pray that they will guide him through the unpredictable nature of life as well, that Byeong can come gently in prayer before Jesus and be encouraged.
2 Timothy 1:6-7
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God... For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.