One morning in the early spring, the lawn by the roadside was wet. A blade of grass, shaking his head and stretching his back, emerged from the earth. Reveling in sucking dew and enjoying the bath of sunshine, he grew a lot without being noticed. One early morning, after awaking, he stretched and then woke a sprout up with gusto, “Hey! Get up! Let’s enjoy the sunshine granted by God together!”
The sprout opened his eyes and said unwillingly, “It’s so early!”
“Of course! I need to welcome more sunshine so as to grow faster!”
Patting the sprout’s shoulder, the grass pointed at the tall trees beside them, and added confidently, “See! Though the same height as you now, in the future I’ll become as giant and majestic as them.”
Looking at the grass enjoying himself, the sprout sighed, “I don’t know what God will arrange for me in future—just let it take its course!”
Then the hot summer arrived. Early in the morning, the grass could hardly wait to wake the sapling up, “Get up! Straighten up and see how much higher I’m than you.”
“Well, how come you are half a head higher than me?” The grass felt somewhat unhappy. Then he looked at the woods again involuntarily. Clapping his breast, he said confidently, “That’s Okay! The sun is shining brightly. I’ll surpass you.”
The sapling said nothing.
As the winter was near, the leaves of the grass were wilting and yellow. He didn’t have the energy to bake in the sun anymore. All he wanted to do was sleeping. He yawned and said to the sapling, “To become as tall as a tree is my goal. I’ll keep growing in my sleep. I’m sure to surpass you next year.” As soon as his voice subsided, he began to snore.
A few years went by in the blink of an eye.
It was a hot summer again. The grass still kept striving to grow higher. He didn’t want to give up. Sweating heavily, he tried to extend upwards with all of his strength again and again. “I must obtain sufficient sunshine, and let the rain nourish the land below me! I will grow high like a big tree to overlook everything!” He cried and cheered to himself continuously.
The sapling had already become a gigantic tree. Seeing the exhausted grass, he comforted him aloud, “Hey! My friend! Look at all around—blue hills, green waters, the passing crowd, and your companies beside you. They are all obedient to God’s arrangement. Each of us has our own position and function, and God sees that everything is good. Why are you always trying to cast off what God has arranged for you? Obey God and be yourself, and then you will live a relaxed life.”
The grass looked around, half understandingly …
At this time, a young mother led a toddler to this meadow. She set the baby two meters away from her and then called, “Baby, come to mom!” At first, the baby stayed where he was with hesitation. Seeing the look of encouragement of his mother, he took his first two steps without his mother’s assistance, but slumped to his knees. When he was about to cry, he suddenly felt the grass was holding him hard with their little bodies, so he got the giggles. Then he looked up at his mother who was waiting for him; he picked himself up, brushed his hands, and then spread his little arms, and walked totteringly to his mother. When getting there, he threw himself into his mother’s arms gladly. The mother picked him up happily, and then came to the tree. They sat on the grass, propped against the tree to keep cool in the shade. The birds hiding in the tree were chattering cheerfully … Not far from here, several children were playing football. As the grass helped to cool the hot air, and brought relief from the heat, so they just enjoyed playing regardless of the hot weather.
Suddenly, the grass smiled as if he realized something. He looked up and said excitedly to the tree, “Hey! My friend! God also predestined the value of my existence. I’ll be myself properly!”
I’m very moved by this little story. We see that all God’s creations are significant. Every creature, whether it is an animal, a plant, a mountain, a lake, or a human, has the value and mission entrusted by God to its existence, and is playing its respective role and serving its respective function within the ordination of God. It is only that their respective aptitude and function are not the same. For this, what we need to do is not to reach for what is beyond our grasp, but rather to find our right places, play our roles properly, and obey the ordination and arrangement of the Creator. In this way, we will live in joy, peace, freedom, and liberation. Just as that blade of grass in the story, it is not predestined to be a gigantic tree. Although it is envious of the tree’s stature and portliness, they are not the features it should have, after all. While the grass is short and humble, it has its usefulness—it can ease the dryness on the ground, provide the playgrounds for people and even more …
In retrospect, aren’t we always over ambitious and envious of others, while ignoring our own value in the daily life? We always envy others’ high qualifications, good jobs, nice looking, and eloquence; even we envy others in every aspect they do better than us. Accordingly, we always live in the imagination and the good dreams constructed by ourselves. When we cannot achieve them, we will have lots of complaints and pain, and even feel depressed and discouraged frequently. Just as God’s words said, “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly, with a rebellious attitude, and always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed; they are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, is painful; the pain is unforgettable; and all the while one is frittering away one’s life. What is the cause of this pain? Is it because of God’s sovereignty, or because a person was born unlucky? Obviously neither is true. At bottom, it is because of the paths people take, the ways people choose to live their lives” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). As we don’t recognize God’s sovereignty, we, like that blade of grass in the story, always rebel against our fate. And we always rebel against the Lord of all creation. We are always aiming too high and vying to be famous, great, and outstanding people, not willing to be an ordinary person. Thereby we have endured countless setbacks and failures, feeling miserable in our hearts.
God tells us, “When you truly know, when you truly come to recognize that God has sovereignty over human fate, when you truly understand that everything God has planned for and decided for you is a great benefit, and is a great protection, then you feel your pain gradually lighten, and the whole of you become relaxed, free, liberated” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). If we can come out from our erroneous views on pursuing and face the reality bravely, then it isn’t hard to find some merits in us. Just like the grass, while it is not as giant as the tree, the benefit and help it brings to us cannot be achieved by the tree: they both have their own advantages. This is also what we often say, “A foot is oft-times too short and inch too long.” The most important thing is that we should know everything God arranges for us is best. Therefore, only when we come before God, obey His sovereignty and arrangement, and find our right places and the true value of our existence, can we be free from kinds of pain within our soul, which arises from the discontent with our present situation. Finally we can attain the true relaxation, freedom and liberation.