In the morning, after washing, Yang Yang came to the workroom. She opened the window and looked out. It was a nice day. The birds were singing happily, adding much vitality to the morning of this day; the breeze fanned the green leaves, wafting the fresh air. She took a deep breath, with her heart being merrier. Turning on the computer, she began a day’s work. When the telephone rang, she habitually answered it, only to find that none was calling her. Suddenly, she felt her heart sink and a sense of loss welled up. She wasn’t the leader of her group for only two days, yet the changes had been so great. She was really a bit unable to adapt it.
Her thoughts retuSo people trudge ever onward in great difficulty, unknowingly bearing these shackles.rned to the past. After she became the group leader, every morning, when she started to work, the telephone would ring continuously. The heads, leaders and members of various departments all asked her some questions or something about their cooperation projects. Sometimes she was swamped with telephone calls. However, she was happy because so many people of high position and status kept in touch with her. In addition, she could arrange people to cooperate this or that type of work, which also let her feel that she had especially high status, with her heart full of a kind of satisfaction. A little tough and tiring though the work was, she felt it was well worth it. Sometimes when she was among members, she loved to greet them. Especially before other group leaders, she would talk about what projects she was working on and what achievements she had achieved. … Suddenly, the telephone rang again, bringing her thoughts back to reality. She habitually answered it again. It was from the new leader of her group, who let her cooperate on a project. She felt very upset: Before, it was I who arranged her work, but now it is she who arranges my work. She was really a little unable to adapt the shift of roles. All at once, she felt too tired to do anything.
Out of spirits, she leaned against the back of the chair and slightly closed her eyes to recover her serenity. Suddenly, she remembered : “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 to both maintain and obtain fame and gain. In this way, Satan binds man with invisible shackles. These shackles are borne on people’s bodies, and they have not the strength nor courage to throw them off. So people trudge ever onward in great difficulty, unknowingly bearing these shackles. … 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. But, slowly, you will all one day recognize that fame and gain are monstrous shackles that Satan uses to bind man. Until the day you come to recognize this, you will thoroughly resist Satan’s control and thoroughly resist the shackles Satan brings to bind you. When the time comes for you to wish to throw off all the things Satan has instilled in you, you will then make a clean break with Satan and will also truly loathe all that Satan has brought to you. Only then will you have a real love and yearning for God; only then can you walk the right road of life in pursuit of the truth” (“God Himself, the Unique VI”). Yang Yang recalled that as God’s word says, she had been instilled into some thoughts since childhood, such as “getting ahead” and “putting yourself above others.” In her opinion, to be a man was to tower above others, to have position and status, and to be thought highly of and looked up to. Only in this way could she live a meaningful and valuable life. For the sake of this, she regarded attaining fame, gain and status as her goals of pursuit. After she became the group leader, though the rank was not high, yet her work touched upon a large scope. She made contact with the leaders of various departments to discuss the work, screening and approving some projects, which made her feel dignified. For status, she could suffer and pay the price, and she thought it was worth suffering more greatly and being more tired. Her heart had been led by status, fame and gain firmly, and she could even devote all her energy to them. Now, because of losing status, she lost the motivating power of work and the direction. Status, just like an invisible shackle, bound her and made her happy or sad.
Can status truly make people live a wonderful and happy life? While, without it, will people be worthless and have no happiness? Yang Yang considered this question. Then she thought of Solomon, the king of Israel, who was of high status. Although many people looked up to and worshiped him, he sensed everything was empty finally. Job possessed a mountainful of sheep and oxen and great wealth, and he was the highest of all the men of the east. But he never put himself in a high position, and his daily life was as simple as that of ordinary people. Later the mountainful of sheep and oxen and his great wealth were robbed by robbers, all his children were also killed and in the end he had sore boils all over his body. The past glories had ceased to exist, with fame and gain and status all lost. Nevertheless he didn’t feel pain for losing his status; instead, he sat among the ashes undisturbedly and used a potsherd to scrape his sore boils, calmly facing all this. He said, “the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1: 21). Getting status didn’t let him be happy and losing it didn’t make him feel sad. He worshiped God as before and lived an ordinary life. His attitude got God’s approval, so he obtained greater blessings from God and became an exemplar that later generations should follow. When Yang Yang’s thoughts went there, she was relieved. She thought: Fame, gain and status aren’t the standard for measuring whether we are happy. Only worshiping God and submitting to God’s sovereignty and arrangements are the happiest things and most approved by God. As a matter of fact, we are originally created beings. With high status, we are tiny creatures in God’s hands; without status, we are still created beings in His hands. Before God, we maintain no difference in status.
When she thought about this, her sadness slowly disappeared. Instead, she was full of thanks and praises to God. She realized that status is actually the tool exploited by Satan to bind and harm people, and also she knew that having status but no truth, man is still empty and in pain, and that having no status but worshiping God, man can get His approval and blessings all the same. She was no longer sad for losing the position as a group leader.
Through the window came the birds’ songs. Yang Yang was also singing a song in her heart. That was a song being offered to God.