By Xiaolin, South Korea
The manager shrugged, spread his hands and said to me despondently, “Xiaolin, our company is really going bankrupt. You’d better find another way. …”
“Is it totally hopeless?” I asked, unwilling to accept this fact.
With a mournful shake of his head, the manager slowly got seated in his chair.
Being bewildered, I walked out of the office with heavy steps. Over and over again what the manager said echoed in my ears, but I didn’t want to accept that fact because that company held my dreams and wishes …
In the year I graduated from university, I was employed easily by a South-Korean-funded shipbuilding enterprise. With the vision of a beautiful future, I went to my job post and started my new life journey. I quietly made up my mind that I must be outstanding and successful in my career to make my life more valuable and meaningful.
So in order to stand out among the employees, I rose up early and went to bed late to work hard at professional knowledge, and usually stayed up working till midnight. A few months later, I made a lot more progress in my professional ability. When it took my three or four colleagues several hours to deal with a group of data in cooperation with each other, I would finish it alone within only twenty to thirty minutes. Because of this, I was naturally thought highly of by my boss. Whenever there was important data to deal with, he would hand it to me.
After a period of time, I got promoted, and thereafter came glory and applause. My desire getting satisfied, I congratulated myself secretly. And meanwhile I was determined that I would, in the shortest time, surpass my seniors on equal terms with me and get a higher position. In this way, in order to attain a position with a higher salary and live a higher-quality lifestyle, I was striving hard.
Just then, however, an unexpected economic crisis spread across the world including the company I worked with. My colleagues left one after another after observing for some time, but I chose to stay for I had devoted my life to the company and I expected that the economic situation of the company would improve slowly and thus I could continue to realize my own perfect plans. But some time later, no miracle appeared. The reality completely crushed my dreams, leaving me beset by unwillingness, helplessness, frustration and affliction.
At the gate of the company, I stopped for a while. Looking at the passers hurrying by, I thought, “Aren’t they striving for their dreams at the moment? I can’t bring an end to my dream. I believe that as long as I continue to work hard, my dream will come true at last.”
Later, by chance, I came to South Korea. In order to survive here, I set aside my status as a university student. I toiled in sweatshops at construction sites, shuttled busily on the assembly line and later worked as a cosmetics salesman. After a period of time, when I found out that the business of selling cosmetics had good prospects, my desire of being outstanding was stirred again, and I had an idea of becoming self-employed. In order to realize this dream, I tried every means to build my own client base. I searched for backup on kinds of websites of China and South Korea. In addition, I often accompanied my clients in dining for the sake of bringing in more clients and learning entrepreneurial experience from them. Several years later, I had some savings and some experience and connections. So I started to stock and sell cosmetics by myself. Every morning when I woke up, the first thing I thought of was how to sell more things to make more money. Generally, in order to realize my life goal to come to the top, I learned to observe speech and behavior of others and to practice flattery, often getting along with others with a mask. In such a life I felt exhausted physically and mentally and sometimes I really hated my own hypocrisy. So many times I wanted to give up this life. But thinking of the future success, I told myself countless times that all the people groping forward in the business did it and it didn’t matter. Finally, with my constantly diligent work, my career was gradually establishing itself. Seeing my dream was coming true, I was filled with joy.
But when I was only one step away from success, an unexpected misfortune put an end to my career. Facing such a blow, it seemed as if I fell into a bottomless abyss. Without the glory and applause, I was low-spirited to the utmost. The feelings of suffering, disappointment, unwillingness and helplessness struck me once more and my life became gloomy again. Facing the dream which was out of my reach, I was confused about how to design my future life. Take a look at the familiars around me. They possessed their own cars and some also had their own houses; their personal life and careers were both in excellent condition. Then turn to me, I was still busying about for my living. Comparing myself to them, I felt even more ashamed. Except youth, I had no any other capital, including enough money, working experience and qualifications, to continue following my dreams, but I was unwilling to live an ordinary life. Confused about the future, I had no idea what on earth I should pursue.
While I was in confusion, I read some God’s words. These words nourished my heart like a sweet spring and also made me find the root of my confusion and suffering. God says, “So Satan uses fame and gain to control man’s thoughts until all they can think of is fame and gain. They struggle for fame and gain, suffer hardships for fame and gain, endure humiliation for fame and gain, sacrifice everything they have for fame and gain, and they will make any judgment or decision for fame and gain. In this way, Satan binds man with invisible shackles. These shackles are borne on people, and they have not the strength nor courage to throw them off. So people trudge ever onward in great difficulty, unknowingly bearing these shackles. For the sake of this fame and gain, mankind shuns God and betrays Him, and they become more and more wicked. In this way, therefore, one generation after another is destroyed in the fame and gain of Satan. Looking now at Satan’s actions, are its sinister motives abominable? (Yes.) Maybe today you still cannot see through Satan’s sinister motives because you think that there is no life without fame and gain. You think that, if people leave fame and gain behind, then they will no longer be able to see the way ahead, no longer be able to see their goals, their future becomes dark, dim and gloomy.”
Until then I hadn’t understood that my views of pursuit “distinguishing myself” and “rising above others” were false viewpoints instilled by Satan. On the surface I was following my dream to realize my aim of life, but in fact, I was bound with invisible shackles from Satan, thus walking on the path of pursuing and struggling hard for fame and gain. As a result, not only did I expend my time and energy on it but also even gave up my personal dignity. And I lived more and more painfully. Thinking back on the ups and downs along my life’s journey, I found that I spent all my youth in pursuing fame and gain. When working in the shipyard in China, for the sake of promotion, I got up early and went to bed late working overtime. After I gained promotion, I wasn’t content with it and went on striving, wanting to win a higher post. When the company was bankrupt, I was unwilling to admit failure. Then I did everything I could to find a turning point in life to have another try for my dream. When I found a niche in the cosmetics market of South Korea, I had an idea that I’d set up my own cosmetics business. Even when I eventually ended up with a failure, I still yearned for my previous glory and applause. For the sake of fame and gain, I often stayed up late to study programs, caring nothing for my health; for the sake of fame and gain, I’d rather give up my bottom line in life, flattering and getting along with others with a mask all day long and making money by lying and deceiving. While I often thought that doing so was going against my conscience, I had no strength or courage to throw off this life. Having met with several failures and setbacks, I felt exhausted mentally and physically. And so I wanted to stop to live an ordinary life and to look for the peace of my heart. But when I saw those around who possessed fame and gain being looked up to by others, fame and gain, just like stings, hooked me so firmly that I was unable to stop. Apart from fame and gain, I didn’t know what else to pursue. Without fame and gain, I felt my life was of no value or meaning. It seemed that I had been dragged into a trap by Satan, so that I unwittingly rushed about and struggled for fame and gain and couldn’t put a stop to it. The revelations of God’s words awakened me completely: Pursuing fame and gain brought me no happiness or enjoyment but endless pain.
So, what valuable and meaningful things should I pursue in life? I continued to seek in the words of God. Then I read the following words of God, “Because of the Creator’s sovereignty and predestination, a lonely soul that started out with nothing to its name gains parents and a family, the chance to become a member of the human race, the chance to experience human life and see the world; and it also gains the chance to experience the Creator’s sovereignty, to know the marvelousness of the creation by the Creator, and most of all, to know and become subject to the Creator’s authority. But most people do not really seize this rare and fleeting opportunity. One exhausts a lifetime’s worth of energy fighting against fate, spends all of one’s time bustling about trying to feed one’s family and shuttling back and forth between wealth and status.” “If one views life as an opportunity to experience the Creator’s sovereignty and come to know His authority, if one sees one’s life as a rare chance to perform one’s duty as a created human being and to fulfill one’s mission, then one will necessarily have the correct outlook on life, will live a life blessed and guided by the Creator, will walk in the light of the Creator, know the Creator’s sovereignty, come under His dominion, become a witness to His miraculous deeds and to His authority.”
“Indeed! God created us, and provided us with an opportunity to experience human life and see the world.is not that I’ll rush and busy about for fame and gain all my life. Instead, His will is for me to come to know His sovereignty and obey His arrangement in various people, events and things, and moreover, live to pursue to know God, satisfy Him and bear testimony for Him through my life journey. This is the direction and goal of life I should pursue. Just as Job did. He was very rich and highly renowned, but he found little pleasure in these things. In his real life, he focused on experiencing the Creator’s deeds and knowing His almightiness and sovereignty in all things God created. He pursued to be a person who feared God and shunned evil and did everything in accordance with God’s words to satisfy His intentions. When he lost all his property and children in Satan’s temptations, he still praised the holy name of . He stood witness for God relying on his reverence and obedience to God and lived a valuable and meaningful life. I should learn from Job to seek God’s will in the environment God sets for me every day, act based on God’s words and pursue to be a person fearing God and shunning evil to earn His praise. This is the most meaningful life.” Thinking of this, I felt relief I had never had before and the way ahead of me began to get clear.
Nowadays, I no longer strive for fame and gain, nor do I chase after people’s esteem or compare with others. I’m living naturally in the life God arranges for me, spending each day seriously and doing everything well I should do. With God’s words watering and feeding me, my numb heart is gradually becoming aware again, and I feel unparalleled release. I’m very happy and secure now. Thanks be to God for His saving me from confusion and darkness. All the glory be to Almighty God!
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