Every one of us has our own story, be it full of regret or hope. The memory of the past imprinted on our mind often spurs us to grow up.
In the past, my dream was to have a place in society, obtain a prominent status, and become my family’s pride, for I thought that only with these things would my life not be in vain. After graduating from school, I stepped into society and started to strive for my dream. It was not until my father died suddenly that I stopped my footsteps.
One day, I suddenly received a phone call from my family telling me that my father fell seriously ill. Upon hearing this, I couldn’t dare to believe it. I hastily put aside my work and rushed to the hospital. When I pushed open the door of the ward, I saw my father curling up on the bed and moaning in pain, losing his former vitality. Seeing this, I completely collapsed.
Scene after scene of the days past replayed in front of me like a movie: In order for us to live a better life, my father had been struggling for decades. Finally, he went from an unremarkable carpenter who started from nothing to a successful businessman who owned luxurious villas and cars. As we all know, in this society, it is very hard for one without privileged background or backer to succeed. However, my father made it.
I still remembered that every time after my father came back from social events, he had to take medicine to ease his stomach ache. We had advised him to see a doctor many times, but he always endured the pain and said, “I’m fine.” And then he still rushed and bustled about. Though our family’s condition got improved, my father had paid a heavy price for this.
Seeing that my father was being tormented by illness yet I couldn’t do anything to help him, I desperately hoped that time could be reversed. I would rather have led a poor yet warm life than lived the extravagant life at the expense of my father’s health. However, no one can reverse time. Life is like a game of chess: One false move may lose the game.
For our whole family, that period was the most difficult and painful days. To alleviate my father’s pain and prolong his life, we tried every possible means, consulting many specialists and seeking various good medicine throughout the country. However, all our efforts came to naught. And my father, with reluctance and the fear of death, left us forever. My family were extremely grieved and burst out weeping; I cried much more bitterly. I couldn’t help sighing with emotion: When my father was young, he devoted his life to earning money, but all the money he earned could not lengthen his life by one day. At that time, the fame and money that my father spent his life earning looked so mocking.
Looking back to the path that I walked, I found that in order to realize my dream—having a place in the company, obtaining the leader’s attention, and winning others’ high regard, I worked overtime every day, without thought for food or sleep. Aside from this, I also applied for the accounting qualification examination. Every day, besides working, I spent plenty of time in studying. Finally, I got the certificate, but I burned myself out and suffered from stomach dysfunction. Regardless of this, I still charged forward on the path of seeking fame and fortune. In order to surpass my colleagues, I continued striving for a higher certificate, even at the cost of my health.
Yet my father’s death rang an alarming bell for me, which made me realize that the dream that we spent our lives pursuing only led to the continuous expansion of our ambitions and desires. Only when we are about to die will we realize that we can’t take away any fame or fortune with us, and that all of these are utterly meaningless. My father was a competitive person and he gained everything he wanted: abundant material life and recognition from relatives, friends, as well as all people around him. But all of these cost him his life.
I couldn’t help but feel confused: For what do we spend all of our time bustling about? What have we gained these years? My father left this world with regrets, and then how should I live my life? These confusions kept bothering me, and I had never found the answer. But from the depth of my heart, there was a voice clearly saying: I’m not gonna take my father’s path and repeat his story. I want to live a different life from him.
Just when I was wandering and confused at a cross in the road of life, I encountered God’s. And I saw s saying: “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, until their youth has fled, until they become gray and wrinkled; until they see that fame and fortune cannot stop one’s slide toward senility, that money cannot fill the emptiness of the heart; until they understand that no one is exempt from the law of birth, aging, sickness, and death, that no one can escape what fate has in store. Only when they are forced to confront life’s final juncture do they truly grasp that even if one owns millions in property, even if one is privileged and of high rank, no one can escape death, every person will return to his or her original position: a solitary soul, with nothing to its name.”
Influenced by satanic rules of survival, such as “rising above others and ranking higher than others,” “Money is first,” and “Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing,” we treat money and fame as our assets in life, thinking that only after possessing these can we live a life of value. Therefore, we spend our whole lives struggling against fate and bustling about for fame, gain, and status, merely to live the life we want and be envied by others.
I thought about how my father devoted his life to earning money since he was young. In his life, he had been bustling about for money, fame, and status, and living in a world filled with intrigue. Even when he was ill, he was not willing to see a doctor. However, money couldn’t treat his illness or save his life, nor could it spare him the feeling of dread and helplessness. I myself, just like my father, also charged forward on the path of pursuing fame and fortune, even at the expense of my health. To obtain the certificate, the approval of my leader, and a place to stand in this society, I endured the pain of illness and kept struggling without stopping.
It was not until then did I suddenly realize: Fame, fortune, and status that we have been pursuing turn out to be chains used to bind us, which can only lead us to walk towards the abyss of pain and stray farther and farther from God. No matter how much money we have or how high status we possess, they can only bring us temporary material enjoyment and praise but can’t exempt us from death. At the time of our deaths, all we have is nothing but regret and emptiness; such kind of life has no value to speak of. Then what path should I take in the future?
With this question, I continued to read and saw God’s words: “If one wishes to depart from this world painlessly, if one wants to be able to face life’s final juncture with no reluctance or worry, the only way is to leave no regrets. And the only way to depart without regrets is to know the Creator’s sovereignty, to know His authority, and to submit to them. Only in this way can one stay far from human strifes, from evil, from Satan’s bondage; only in this way can one live a life like Job’s, guided and blessed by the Creator, a life that is free and liberated, a life with value and meaning, a life that is honest and openhearted; only in this way can one submit, like Job, to be tried and deprived by the Creator, submit to the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements; only in this way can one worship the Creator all one’s life and win His commendation, as Job did, and hear His voice, see Him appear; only in this way can one live and die happily, like Job, with no pain, no worry, no regrets; only in this way can one live in light, like Job, pass every one of life’s junctures in light, smoothly complete one’s journey in light, successfully achieve one’s mission—to experience, learn, and come to know the Creator’s sovereignty as a created being—and pass away in light, and for ever after stand at the Creator’s side as a created human being, commended by Him.”
After reading these words, I felt relieved: God created us and has continuously supplied us with everything we need, so we ought to believe in Him, worship Him, and pursue to know Him. Only in this way can we obtain the Creator’s approval and live a meaningful life. But if we blindly evade God’s care and continue on our paths away from Him, using our life given by Him to pursue wealth and status, then we are frittering away our life, and will depart from this world with emptiness and pain just like my father. Life of this kind is meaningless.
Then I thought of Job. Though he possessed untold masses of wealth, he did not indulge in fame, fortune and status or struggle to earn more money, but pursued to be a righteous man who fears God and shuns evil. Therefore, when God’s trial befell him, he did not complain against God for losing his property and children and suffering hardships of life. Instead, he still exalted God’s holy name and calmly faced the ups and downs of life. Ultimately, Job stood witness for God, received God’s approval, gained real happiness, and lived out a meaningful life.
At that time, I understood: My everything is all given by God. So I should spend the rest of my life following God, heeding and practicing His words, obeying His sovereignty and arrangements, and truly worshiping Him. I believe that only under God’s guidance can I live the most meaningful and valuable life.
Later, I lived a church life. Through reading God’s words, I understood more and more truth. Moreover, I performed my duty as a creature of God, enjoying unprecedented sureness, peace, and joy from the bottom of my heart. I am thankful that with God, my life bursts forth in splendor.
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