By Su Chenyu
When I stood at the crowded street, seeing the pedestrians coming and going in a rush and the buses stuck in the middle of the heavy traffic, and hearing the harsh horn blasts, I felt that even the atmosphere became tense. Today, with the economy developing rapidly, the pace of people’s living is getting faster and faster.
From five o’clock in the morning, the city subways begin their busy day; after a day’s clamor, there are always several lights being on all the night in the office premises; not until midnight does the crowd in the streets begin to thin. Driven by desires, most people are as busy as bees all day long, moving forward at speed. Some pursue the so-called ideals, obtaining higher positions in the careers they love. Some seize every chance to earn money, working from dawn till dusk, to provide for their families. Some, in order to enjoy the material comforts, wrack their brains to look at ways of earning money. … Maybe some of them have fulfilled what they wished and satisfied their own material lusts, while some are unlucky and fail again and again in the race for fame and fortune. However, everyone, whether he is a celebrity or a common person, persists in struggling in the suffocating society. I am not an exception.
On the way of pursuing fame and fortune, in the beginning, I was busy with study, sought to get ahead and gain family prestige, and wanted to stand out from my classmates and be admired by my teachers. So I told myself I must make an effort to realize my wish, and I had been longing for the day when my dream came true. Then I studied diligently every day, putting in more effort than others. Although I got into university and found a job of a high wage after graduation, I gradually lost myself in the society which worshiped money and was full of intrigue when working. The busier I was, the more I felt flurried; the more I pursued, the emptier I felt inside. It seemed like a curse, making me suffer from the inexpressible jittery. Since I have been successful and brought glory to my family, I should be cheerful and satisfied, and I should take enjoyment, but why do I neither feel happy nor gain comfort or peace of mind but instead feel as if my heart were hollowed out? I couldn’t find the source of the problem, much less know how to escape the bewildering sense of jittery.
Later, I found the answer in a book of truth, in which it says: “Fame and fortune one gains in the material world give one temporary satisfaction, passing pleasure, a false sense of ease, and make one lose one’s way. And so people, as they thrash about in the vast sea of humanity, craving peace, comfort, and tranquility of heart, are subsumed again and again beneath the waves. When people have yet to figure out the questions that it is most crucial to understand—where they come from, why they are alive, where they are going, and so forth—they are seduced by fame and fortune, misled, controlled by them, irrevocably lost. Time flies; years pass in an eyeblink; before one realizes it, one has bid farewell to the best years of one’s life.” Only then did I understand that it was my desires for fame and fortune that made me lose my direction. Recalling my way of seeking ideals in life, I had never found the right direction but been attracted by fame and fortune, believing that if I obtained them, I could enjoy a better life and gain people’s regard and approval, so that I devoted myself to pursuing fame and gain and satisfying my desires, trudging onward in great difficulty. When I reaped a lot from the ocean of knowledge, when I solved difficulties one after another in study, when I stood on the podium receiving awards, when I obtained others’ praises, when I stepped into society and turned my first profit, I was immersed in the false sense of contentment and happiness, and seemed to have realized my self-worth. Subsequently, I got sucked into the vortex of sin, focusing on nothing but the pursuit of fame and fortune. With time passing by, I sank deeper and deeper and had unconsciously idled away my life. Gradually, I got lost and couldn’t halt my steps to seek the satisfaction of my desires, and frequently felt frightened and helpless. It is the same with those who also live in this society. We all are unknowingly driven by fame and fortune to advance, using various high-sounding reasons, such as ideals, careers, wishes to justify our pursuit of fame and fortune. We all take this for granted, believing that if we don’t pursue this way, our lives would be in vain, and no one has thought of what the true meaning or value of life should be. Unconsciously, we are led around on a leash by fame and fortune and rush forward through the fog, so how could we not feel bewildered and empty?
The words in the book enabled me to see clearly the truth of the fact and see that nearly no one seeks the true meaning of life in such a dazzling world full of material desires. Just as it says in the book: “For tens, thousands, tens of thousands of years until now, people have been squandering their time in this way, with no one creating a perfect life, all intent only on mutual slaughter in this dark world, on the race for fame and fortune, and on intriguing against one another. Who has ever sought after? Has anyone ever heeded the work of God?” Measured against these words, I recalled that we have spent every second of our lives contesting and fighting with each other in pursuit of fame and fortune. At the same time as seeking to be better than others, we also fear getting passed, fear losing what we’ve possessed once we relax our efforts, and fear being eliminated if we cannot keep pace with the society. Our hearts are filled with all sorts of fears, so that in school, we strive for passing the college entrance examination, studying late into the night day by day; in the professional world, we compete against each other, continuously taking kinds of refresher courses to update our knowledge; in the world of business, we engage in intrigue, maintaining complicated interpersonal relationships; in the world of officialdom, we struggle with bare hand, facing the danger of death just like living on a knife edge. … In the progress of our pursuit, no one knows who will win and who will fail at last; everyone, just like a crazy gambler, prepares for the fight at all times in order not to be a loser. When we have temporary success, we feel enjoyment; when we fail, we feel sadness, yet we are not reconciled to defeat and continue our struggle until we achieve the so-called success. It almost has become a constant law and even a curse that no one can break. The fast-paced life amplifies the ugliness of us who are deeply trapped into money, reputation, power, status, and so on. We strive and compete against each other, becoming entrenched in the mire of sin, straying farther and farther from God in our struggle against fate, and losing our life directions in the pursuit of fame and fortune. Many people toil hard to fulfill their wishes, so that they become exhausted; many work their fingers to the bone, and even pay the price of their lives for a promotion, resulting in the frequent tragedy of “Karoshi”; many have earned fame and riches at the cost of health, and only then do they realize that fame and fortune cannot buy life, but it is too late. … In summary, struggling for fame and fortune, we have been living under Satan’s dark influence and living in agony without the blessings of God.
So how should we stop in our hurried footsteps and no longer be tempted by Satan to walk the path of destruction? In order to get the answer, I searchedand other books. When reading the experiences of Job and Abraham, I was touched. Job, regardless of his prestigious standing in the east, had never loved status but only sought to follow the way of fearing God and shunning evil all his life. When he lost all of his possessions, he sought God’s will rather than thought about how to maintain his standing, and had never complained in trials but always praised the name of God, and thereby he became the righteous in God’s eyes; God then granted him double blessings, letting him personally hear His voice and see His back. Similarly, Abraham sought to worship and all his life. He had never lived for fame and fortune despite his possessions in his hometown; when God asked him to leave for a place far away from his hometown, he decisively listened to s and submitted to His sovereignty and arrangement without considering what would happen in the future; when God tested him and asked him to offer his only son, whom he had at the age of a hundred, he obeyed God’s words. At last, God blessed Abraham with descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven, and as plentiful as the sand on the sea shore. I was deeply moved by the deeds of Job and Abraham. The reason why they could maintain their reverence and obedience toward God at any case, and never be seduced by fame and fortune, was that they had seen through their relationships with God: Creatures should worship the Creator unconditionally. It is known to us Christians doctrinally, but we hardly carry it out. Since we are living before God and enjoying His provision of life for us, we should seek to know God, worship God, and live by His words, as well as be the people who obey God, revere God and shun evil, and are approved by God. This is the duty we should perform, and also the true meaning and value of our life. Just as it says in the book of truth: “Only if one knows God and has the truth does he live in the light; and only when his view of the world and his view of life change does he change fundamentally. When he has a life goal and comports himself according to the truth; when he absolutely submits to God and lives by God’s word; when he feels assured and brightened deep in his soul; when his heart is free of darkness; and when he lives completely freely and unrestrained in God’s presence—only then does he live a true human life and become a person possessing truth. Besides, all the truths you have are from God’s word and from God Himself. The Ruler of the entire universe and all things—God Most High—approves of you, as a real man living the true human life. What could be more meaningful than God’s approval?”
Facing the prismatic material world which is filled with so many seductions and deceptions, we could easily lose directions without truth as the guide for life. If you have lost yourself in the race for fame and fortune, and if you are still living under the curse of fast-paced life and couldn’t shake off your fears, you might as well come before God and use your heart to listen to His words quietly. It will surely bring a different turning point for your busy life. If we understand the truth from God’s words, change our old views and outlooks on existence and values, if we pursue the truth, seeking to know God, obey Him, and worship Him, our life will have a new start, and we’ll obtain true release and freedom in our spirits as well.
Dear brothers and sisters, if you have any understanding or enlightenment from God,
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