In my childhood, my father often took me out. When I was tired with walking, he would carry me on his back. At that time, I felt that my father was very tall, and from his back I could see far away.
Year after year passed. The young tree increased the number of its rings and was not tender and became tall and straight. The big tree became old and was stamped with the marks of time all over its body. Things changed as time went by. When we grew up, our hometown always seemed small to us, and we became curious about the outside world. So the kids once naive now loved traveling far away from home. My friends in my childhood left the hometown with their dreams. Some of them achieved great success; and some returned home gloriously. As a rash young man, I, of course, was unwilling to stay where I was.
That year, when I left home, I was half a head taller than my father. After I had gone some distance, I could not help but look back, and found that his back was somewhat bent. Then I took the last look at this place where I was raised. I was a little reluctant, but I had made up my mind. At that time, I was intent on changing my own fate with my hands—that was my unshakable goal.
In young me there was a restless heart. I walked through the crowd and traveled from one place to another. I was brimming with self-pride. However, the reality fought back my dream again and again. I had thought it easy to live on my own and that I could enjoy the sceneries of this vast world at the same time. But when I worked in the restaurant, I was faced with the boss’s scolding and others’ jeer; when I had paid the rent and the utilities, I found that I only had little money left; when I had earned some money and enjoyed good clothes and food, I felt my heart unspeakably empty without knowing when; when I walked through the busy streets and heard the gloomy music from the shops, I sometimes wept silently…. Finally I confessed that I had strayed from God too far and too long, and that my pursuit was in substance fighting against my origins, family, parents, time, and reality…. What it came down to, in the end, was fighting against my fate and resisting God’s sovereignty and arrangement.
For a man who worked far away from home, not only did he worry about whether he could return to his birthplace when he got old, but he also was confused about life and concerned about future after some setbacks. Only when I had such worries did I realize: Without these frustrations and bitterness, I would not know the importance of believing in God, much less learn to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement. So I stop chasing fame and fortune and returned to God’s family. After I saw God’s tender words, I felt like I had just had a narrow escape. God says, “Is the world really your place of rest? … Could you truly use your fleeting enjoyment as a cover for that inconcealable emptiness in your heart? You could fool anyone in your family, yet you are forever incapable of fooling Me. As your faith is meager, you are still to this day powerless to find any of the delights life has to offer” (“What a Real Man Means”).
In the past, I thought that I could certainly find a place to achieve my ambition in this vast world. It might be that I would not make a great deal of money. But if I could be like the chivalrous character in the novel, who walked through the world with his aspiration, pride, and enthusiasm, then it would also be a pleasure for me. In a word, I didn’t want to live an ordinary life or resign myself to fate when I was young. So when I heard the elder say, “One should obey the will of God and do what he ought to do in his life,” I disagreed and thought: They just surrender to their fates and are expressing their resignation. But now I understood: The fame, fortune, and vanity I pursued are all negative things, and my pursuit is against God’s sovereignty over human fate. How much wealth I may possess, what path I may take, and what kind of fate I may have are all in God’s sovereignty and predestination. For a created being, fighting against God’s sovereignty and his fate is doomed to taste all sufferings. These sufferings are not only physical fatigue, but emptiness and helplessness in spirit that are even more unbearable.
A friend of mine experienced this more deeply. After he returned before God, once in a gathering he saw a piece of God’s words about life and fame and fortune, of which one passage says, “When one looks back upon the road one has walked, when one recollects every phase of one’s journey, one sees that at every step, whether one’s road was arduous or smooth, God was guiding one’s path, planning it out. It was God’s meticulous arrangements, His careful planning, that led one, unknowingly, to today. To be able to accept the Creator’s sovereignty, to receive His salvation—what great fortune that is! … For one sees that when one does not comprehend fate, when one does not understand God’s sovereignty, when one gropes forward willfully, staggering and tottering, through the fog, the journey is too difficult, too heartbreaking. So when people recognize God’s sovereignty over human fate, the smart ones choose to know it and accept it, to bid farewell to the painful days when they tried to build a good life with their own two hands, instead of continuing to struggle against fate and pursue their so-called life goals in their own manner. When one has no God, when one cannot see Him, when one cannot clearly recognize God’s sovereignty, every day is meaningless, worthless, miserable. Wherever one is, whatever one’s job is, one’s means of living and the pursuit of one’s goals bring one nothing but endless heartbreak and irrelievable suffering, such that one cannot bear to look back. Only when one accepts the Creator’s sovereignty, submits to His orchestrations and arrangements, and seeks true human life, will one gradually break free from all heartbreak and suffering, shake off all the emptiness of life” (“God Himself, the Unique III”).
When he finished reading this passage of words, his face was already wet with tears. He said that in order to achieve the ambition of changing his fate, he gave up his steady work and left his relatives and friends. Then he came alone to work overseas. After many ups and downs of life, he had earned some money. However, in order to solve the emptiness in his heart, he was almost addicted to drugs. Fortunately, he was saved by God and accepted the kingdom gospel. After returning before God, he realized that the first half of his life was under Satan’s affliction, and that he almost lost his life because of chasing money and fame and fortune …
His bitter experience made me and many brothers and sisters shed tears. We all once wandered in the world of sensual pleasures, and we returned before God because of His care. After I read God’s words and thought back on my setbacks these years, I discovered: Obeying the will of God and doing what we ought to do in our life is the attitude we should have to obey God. Only when we submit to God’s sovereignty and authority can we obtain release and freedom. And by doing so, we not only have no pain anymore, but also have done what a created being ought to do and satisfied God.
Live before God, entrust your life and fate to God, and obey His orchestration and arrangement, then you will experience what is peace and tranquility of the heart. My dear friends, the pace of God’s work in is getting faster and faster. If we still want to build a career and change our fate with our own hands, if we are still trapped in the whirlpool of money and fame and are not willing to seek and accept in the last days, if we still refuse to come before God, refuse to seek and practice the truths in God’s words, or refuse to pursue to know God and gain the life under the pretext that we are too busy with work, have to take care of our family, have no time…, then when the imminent great disaster comes, where will we go?
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