Yesterday, my aunt came to my house and invited me to join her to start a business, to make our way in the world, and she asked me to think it over. When I heard her words, there was a turmoil in my heart, and for a long time I was unable to calm down. At night, I tossed about in bed, thinking a lot …
In the past, I, dearly loved by my parents, was like a little princess in need of protection and attention. But with the passing of time, I have become no longer weak or willful as before. Four years ago, on the evening when my father left us forever, I still clearly remember, many of our relatives and friends said they were regretful about my father’s untimely death. The several million yuan paid for his medical expenses failed to save his , and my aunt sighed helplessly, “That’s !” In a flash, it has been four years since that night.
My father was a member of the business elite. For the sake of his business, he had to engage in social activities every day. As he frequently drank with his clients, he often groaned with pain after coming back home, and his groans always woke me up at night. Sometimes, my father played mahjong the whole night. The next day, sleepy though he was, he still struggled to answer his clients’ calls with a sonorous voice. Sometimes, he couldn’t be back home before midnight for social intercourse, at which my mother was so angry as to lock the door, and so he had to call me to open the door for him. In those years, my father had earned some money, accumulating a fortune, and lived in affluence and luxury, but he was not happy at all. Instead, he felt very tired and exhausted. In order to gain more money, he was often busy working day and night like a machine. When he burned himself out, he still didn’t stop working, and he even had no time to take care of his sick body….
The condition of my father was getting worse and worse. In the ward, he, leaning against my shoulder, said, “If only I could live two more years … I want to be with you….” Gazing at the electrocardiogram, I pretended to be strong, but I really wanted to ask the master of time whether a few more years could be given to my father, for he was regretting and there was so much that he could not let go of. In order to get my father’s disease cured, we took him to the hospitals of many big cities and had the most advanced medical facilities used on him. My mother and I took turns attending him day and night, and my grandparents went everywhere trying anxiously to find out an effective folk remedy. I had thought that abundant money and advanced medicine could definitely save my father’s life, but after all, my father, a lofty man in my heart who was capable of handling anything, departed from us with regret.
When I walked into my father’s study, I saw the walls stained with the smoke exhaled by my father. After I went to the balcony, I could breathe the air that I had ever shared with my father when leaning on the window-sill with him…. Everything was unchanged, the wall being still stained and the air still filled with the familiar smell, but I could no longer find my father there. A TV channel was broadcasting the news that a millionaire cast his money in despair after being diagnosed with cancer. I could somewhat sense the agony of that millionaire—being totally helpless and despairing with no way out in his life.
It was not long after my father’s death that I heard the voice of . Through reading His words, I gradually realized: This supreme and almighty One is the Master of time, the Creator of life, and the Ruler of all things! From Almighty God’s words, I also found the mysteries and meaning of . Almighty God told me, “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. The things that people treasure are family, money, and fame; they view these as the most valuable things in life. All people complain about their fates, yet still they push to the back of their minds the questions that it is most imperative to examine and understand: why man is alive, how man should live, what the value and meaning of life is. All of their lives, however many years that may be, they just rush about seeking fame and fortune…. Fame and fortune one gains in the material world give one temporary satisfaction, passing pleasure, a false sense of ease, and make one lose one’s way. And so people, as they thrash about in the vast sea of humanity, craving peace, comfort, and tranquility of heart, are subsumed again and again beneath the waves. When people have yet to figure out the questions that it is most crucial to understand—where they come from, why they are alive, where they are going, and so forth—they are seduced by fame and fortune, misled, controlled by them, irrevocably lost. Time flies; years pass in an eyeblink; before one realizes it, one has bid farewell to the best years of one’s life. … Only when people actually reach this point do they realize that the first thing one must understand, when one sets foot on this earth, is where human beings come from, why people are alive, who dictates human fate, who provides for and has sovereignty over human existence. These are the true assets in life, the essential basis for human survival, not learning how to provide for one’s family or how to achieve fame and wealth, not learning how to stand out from the crowd or how to live a more affluent life, much less learning how to excel and to compete successfully against others. Though the various survival skills that people spend their lives mastering can offer an abundance of material comforts, they never bring one’s heart true peace and consolation, but instead make people constantly lose their direction, have difficulty controlling themselves, miss every opportunity to learn the meaning of life; and they create an undercurrent of trouble about how to properly face death. In this way, people’s lives are ruined. The Creator treats everyone fairly, giving everyone a lifetime’s worth of opportunities to experience and know His sovereignty, yet it is only when death draws near, when the specter of death hangs over one, that one begins to see the light—and then it is too late” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words, I understood the root of why fame and money are too powerless to do anything before life. I remember that when my father was lying on the hospital bed, he once told me that the money he had spent his life making failed to buy him a good health. Truly, money was incapable of saving his life, and the things he had regarded as precious were eventually proved to be nothing but fleeting clouds on his life journey. His case was just like that of the millionaire, a cancer sufferer, who cast his money in despair. All of these made me truly realize: No matter how much money one has and what an abundance of material comforts one possesses, he cannot buy the precious life. When a man does not know what is the value and meaning of human life and how man should live, he just rushes about pursuing fame and fortune in his lifetime, but when he faces death, he feels nothing but despair, fear, and helplessness. Obviously, what a man spends his life pursuing is not at all the true happiness or the true human life. Then I couldn’t help asking myself: What kind of journey should I choose in my life? And what should I pursue in my life so as not to lose the meaning of life? In God’s words, I have found the answer: Man’s life is given by God, and moreover, man’s fate is dictated by God’s hands, so the only goal man should pursue is to come before God to experience God’s work and words, submit to God’s manipulation and arrangements, and ’s authority and sovereignty, which is also the most meaningful and valuable life….
Then my thoughts went back to yesterday. My aunt’s invitation indeed caused some ripples of concern in my heart. For I had dreamed of being a member of the business elite, yearned to achieve success and fame, and imagined making my way in the world with my aunt. But after my thoughts gradually settled down, I found that in that case I would still inevitably walk the same path that my father had walked. … From Almighty God’s words I’ve understood a lot: Satan uses money and fame to bind man in order for man to pursue these things wholeheartedly and thus stray from and rebel against God and finally lose God’s salvation. I know full well that making my way in the world is an endless journey, and it cannot fill my heart with true peace or consolation. Through four years of reading Almighty God’s words, I’ve gained a new definition of life. I’ve seen that an increasing number of people are walking on that same path. The deaths of some celebrities reported on TV or in the newspapers and the stories that happened around us all convey man’s helplessness and sadness, trembling fear and indecision. I don’t want to step onto that same path. Now I’ve heard Almighty God’s voice, and understood God’s will: God bestows life upon man through expressing the truth, hoping that man can live in the light; He is waiting for the return of the ignorant; He cherishes man’s life more than man cherishes it; and He will save those struggling in the throes of suffering so that they can return to His family and enjoy the supply of the living water of life from Him.
Now when I look at myself, I see: Having experienced God’s work for these years, I am no longer like the flowers in the greenhouse, unable to endure any storm. When I meet difficulties, I can pray to God and rely on Him rather than being bewildered or weeping, because I know that God is standing beside me at every moment. When I meet things displeasing to me, I can pray to God and practice the truth in accordance with God’s words rather than losing my temper. Gradually, I have lowered my conceited head and can learn to accept others’ advice and help…. My mother said that I have changed a lot: Formerly, I was selfish and weak, but now I am getting more and more sensible and independent. I know it is God who has changed and saved me.
Sunflowers choose to smile at the sun; I choose to repay and run to His embrace by performing my duty properly with my brothers and sisters while making a living by myself. This is my firmest answer! My choice to do so does not mean to forsake my future but to seek life. For I have known why man exists and why man has to die, and known the responsibility and obligation that I should fulfill when living in this world. I am determined to take responsibility for my future and my life, so I choose to follow God and worship God without hesitation. This is my firmest answer!
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