It was six o’clock at dusk when I came out from a sister’s house, and the evening lights were already lit. The street was full of traffic and people. I mounted my electric scooter and joined them carefully. Owing to my near-sightedness, I felt a little difficult when I rode through the crowd. In addition, I had only moved here and was not familiar with this road at all. On the night when people and vehicles were passing to and fro, soon I became unclear about where I was, just feeling that I had already walked far from the sister’s house. When I saw the intersection in front a little familiar, I felt I should turn left. According to my indistinct memory, I turned left, crossed the traffic light, and moved ahead. Yet, after a long distance, I still didn’t see the next intersection to turn. Thinking that it might be in front, I continued riding ahead. But the more I moved on, the remoter it was. Gradually, there were no more streetlights but the weak light of the electric scooter lamp throwing on the road. I couldn’t help but slow the speed. Some people passed me by hurriedly, talking and laughing. Judging from their conversations, it seemed they were workers coming off work. They were riding home on their cycles in groups of from two to five. I wanted to ask where I was, but they were anxious to return home and whizzed past and faded into the night soon so that I didn’t have the chance to ask.
In helplessness, I prayed to God and told Him about my circumstance and difficulty, begging Him to lead me to find the way home. After the prayer, my restless heart calmed down bit by bit. I recalled the route to the sister’s house I took the two previous times, the turning I took at the intersection that night, and the rough position of the place where I lived. Little by little, the rough direction home emerged in my mind. Then I rode my electric scooter toward it, proceeding slowly while observing my surroundings.
Not knowing how long I had traveled, I saw a few streetlights on the road. As I moved on, a school came into my sight, which I kind of remembered. Then going further, I saw an intersection, and when I came close to it, I found it was just the turning I should take to the left in my memory. It turned out that I had turned to another way to the suburbs, for I was anxious to go home and didn’t see the road clearly. That was close. If I hadn’t prayed to God, calmed myself down to collect my thoughts and find the right way, now I would still be cold, hungry, and worried in the middle of nowhere.
While riding on my electric scooter, I pondered the thing I encountered that night: What does God want to tell me? Everything is not incidental, but is a way that God communicates with man. Then what is God admonishing me through this thing? While pondering this, I couldn’t help but think of God’s words: “Do you know what the saying, ‘Try to go south by driving the chariot north,’ means? This allegory elucidates an issue, telling people: Regardless of how much effort you put in, if your goal and direction are wrong, then the more you move forward, the further you will get from the right direction and goal. That is basically what it means. Therefore, now, based on the foundations of fulfilling your duty you must quiet your hearts and contemplate how you can get closer and closer to the true goal of believing in God instead of getting further and further away” (“The Five Conditions People Have Before They Enter the Right Track of Believing in God”). It’s true. No matter what we do, if our goal and direction are wrong, we’ll be in trouble. Particularly when it comes to believing in God, we should always be cautious with the steps that we take, and find the right direction and goal. Once we lose our way, we’ll get further and further away from God.
I was reminded of my situation of that period of time. Since I moved here and contacted with the new environment and the new people and things, my heart had strayed far from God unknowingly, and my relationship with God had been abnormal. Besides, when I saw that my colleagues were proficient at professional work, I unconsciously fell into the state of competing with them, always thinking of doing something to prove that I was not worse than them. Satan’s poisons of “getting ahead” and “ranking higher than others” bound me so much so that all day what I thought about was how to distinguish myself, how to protect my face and status, how to satisfy my vanity, and so on. All these wrong pursuits made me fail to quiet my heart to pursue the truth and transformation in disposition. Outwardly I was still performing my duty, reading God’s words, and participating in church life. However, after a period of time, I didn’t make any progress in my spiritual life; the knowledge of my corrupt disposition was stuck at the previous level. All my communications at meetings were merely stale theories, lacking the knowledge and experience of my own practice of God’s words. I couldn’t feel any enjoyment, let alone have some practical knowledge of God’s work and thus exalt and bear witness to God. In ordinary life, apart from going to the church to do work following the prescribed order, I lacked the practice of being quiet before God to pray-read and contemplate the words of God. As a result, my heart always wandered in the world outside and I couldn’t feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. When encountering a matter or meeting trouble, I still revealed my corrupt disposition, was very impetuous, and couldn’t rely on God or look to Him to seek the truth and solve it. There were also some problems in my coordination with the brothers and sisters. For instance, when we had different opinions, it was hard for me to put myself aside, and I didn’t come before God in time to reflect on myself and seek the related truth to solve the problems. Instead, I held onto my own opinions and asked them to act in accord with my requests because of my arrogant disposition, which ended up controlling the brothers and sisters and bringing them pain. … In reflecting on my situation, I had been tempted by Satan and got lost on the spiritual pathway, abandoned the way of seeking truth, and walked on a road of no return.
At that time, I realized: My losing the way that night was God’s guidance to me. Since I had lost my way in spirit unawares, God made me self-reflect and guided me to walk on the right path in that way.
Then I thought of God’s words: “If your pursuit is based on what God requires you to achieve and your direction is correct, then even if you go off track a little bit, or become somewhat weak, or fail a little, it’s not serious; God won’t take note of it, and He will always support you. What kind of person does God like? God likes a person who pursues the truth, who has determination, and is honest, even if they are ignorant. God is not afraid of you not knowing, of being weak, or of lacking wisdom. What He detests is when you have no pursuit, when your outlook on life is just like a worldly person’s and your pursuits are the same as a beast’s—soulless, without a goal or direction for your life pursuit. God detests this type of attitude in your belief in Him. So, what kind of outlook on life you have is very important for a change in disposition” (“What a Change in Disposition Is and the Path to a Change in Disposition”). God’s words gave me faith and strength. Although I was walking in the wrong path, although I did many things that God hated and despised, and I once failed, stumbled, and became weak, God says He won’t take note of it as long as I can pursue based on the right goal. He doesn’t see whether I’m ignorant, of poor caliber, or deeply corrupted, always unable to put God’s words into practice. He only cares about whether I can genuinely repent after knowing the problems in me, and whether I can quiet myself before Him again to seek the truth and carry out the truth, relying on His words to correct my way and resolve my own corrupt disposition, so as to live as a genuine person according to His words to comfort Him. After understanding , I felt ashamed and guilty, but was thankful that God had designed the environment to help me reflect on myself, and guided me to understand His will and requirement from His words and find the way of repenting and changing. I encouraged myself silently: I will pull myself together to pursue the truth, and no longer fail to live up to the care and thought God invests in me. Though I’m lacking too much and I’m deeply corrupted, God doesn’t despise me. God’s will is to save us to the greatest extent possible, and He won’t give up on anybody easily, nor will He mistreat anyone who truly pursues the truth. I should cherish the time and the opportunity God has given me even more, and never give up pursuing the truthat any time.
Seeing the surrounding environment more and more familiar, I became clearer about the direction home. Thinking back on this experience, I was full of emotional thoughts: Although I took the wrong path tonight, under the guidance of God’s words, I have seen clearly my recent condition and found again the goal and way I should pursue in belief in God.
In our life, there are always many failures, frustrations, perplexities, and helplessness. When we are living in such situation, don’t forget to pray to God, and don’t abandon ourselves to despair. God is our ever-present help. As long as we are willing to rely on Him and aspire to pursue and obtain the truth, God will guide the direction of our progress, and lead us to walk on the right path of life. Under the moving and leadership of God, I began humming the hymn of called “The Result Achieved by Knowing God”: “Until, one day, you will feel that the Creator is no longer a riddle, that the Creator has never been hidden from you, that the Creator has never concealed His face from you, that the Creator is not at all far from you, that the Creator is no longer the One that you constantly long for in your thoughts but that you cannot reach with your feelings, that He is really and truly standing guard to your left and right, supplying your life, and controlling your destiny. He is not on the remote horizon, nor has He secreted Himself high up in the clouds. He is right by your side, presiding over your all, He is everything that you have, and He is the only thing you have.
Such a God allows you to love Him from the heart, cling to Him, hold Him close, admire Him, fear to lose Him, and be unwilling to renounce Him any longer, disobey Him any longer, or any longer to evade Him or put Him at a distance. All you want is to care for Him, obey Him, requite all that He gives you, and surrender to His dominion. You no longer refuse to be guided, supplied, watched over, and kept by Him, no longer refuse what He dictates and ordains for you. All you want is to follow Him, walk alongside Him to His left or right, all you want is to accept Him as your one and only life, to accept Him as your one and only Lord, your one and only God.”
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