By Jiawen, China
In July this year, after graduation from university, I was employed by an advertising agency as a planner. In today’s fiercely competitive society, I deeply knew that it was due to God’s grace that I was able to easily find this good job. So I really cherished it. Though I majored in advertising design in university, as the knowledge I had learnt from textbooks was merely theoretical, I still encountered many difficulties with my work. Every time I couldn’t find a way out, I would bring my difficulties before God in, and God would always be my ever-present help, and my difficulties were thereby resolved. Under God’s guidance, I mastered some working skills and methods. Over a period of time, I did several advertising proposals very well, winning my boss’ appreciation and recognition. Seeing that I hadn’t worked for very long yet could still win my boss’ appreciation and my colleagues’ praise, I thought: I am pretty good. Despite my being a newbie, my abilities are no worse than other more experienced colleagues’. I firmly believe that as long as I am willing to make the effort, sooner or later I will someday achieve something in this industry. However, just when I was about to realize my ambition through my own abilities, something unexpected occurred.
One morning, as soon as I arrived at the company I was called by my boss to his office. Originally, I thought that he would praise me for the proposal that I had submitted a few days before. But unexpectedly, the boss’ previously benign expression had changed and he said to me seriously, “What’s the matter with you? Did you not use your brain? This proposal offers nothing new. You see, here and here—there’s no originality. Go back and do it again!” While saying this, my boss circled the questionable content in the proposal document with a pen. Looking at the proposal, which had become barely recognizable, and being criticized by my boss brought me to a low point. With my head drooping, I returned back to my desk. Then I opened the proposal document and wanted to modify it, but I simply didn’t have any ideas. I looked up plenty of materials, and referred to some former successful projects, but my brain seemed to have stopped working. All day long, I had made no progress. In the evening I came home. After supper, I turned on my computer and again tried to modify the proposal, but my mind was still blank, without a single idea. So, in order not to delay the development of the project, I began to modify it. When it was completed, I reviewed it and was secretly pleased. I thought: Tomorrow when I give this proposal to my boss, he will surely say that I have modified it quickly and well. Yet the next day, when I, with confidence, gave my boss the modified proposal, I saw that he frowned as he read it. Watching the boss’ expression, my heart jumped into my mouth, and I knew I would get criticized again. Sure enough, I had to modify the proposal again. I felt extremely upset, and could not muster any energy all day.materials, and referred to some former successful projects, but my brain seemed to have stopped working. All day long, I had made no progress. In the evening I came home. After supper, I turned on my computer and again tried to modify the proposal, but my mind was still blank, without a single idea. So, in order not to delay the development of the project, I began to modify it. When it was completed, I reviewed it and was secretly pleased. I thought: Tomorrow when I give this proposal to my boss, he will surely say that I have modified it quickly and well. Yet the next day, when I, with confidence, gave my boss the modified proposal, I saw that he frowned as he read it. Watching the boss’ expression, my heart jumped into my mouth, and I knew I would get criticized again. Sure enough, I had to modify the proposal again. I felt extremely upset, and could not muster any energy all day.
After I returned home in the evening, I opened the proposal once again and thought: When I wrote proposals before, I always had some ideas. What is wrong with me? Why is it that the proposals I’m doing are getting worse? Over this period of time, I’ve done some successful proposals and have some practical experience. My IQ isn’t lower than others, so normally I should have written my proposal better than before, so why don’t I have any inspiration and originality now? Having no choice, I bit the bullet and modified the proposal once more. But my boss was still dissatisfied with it and even gave me a final warning, “If you can’t bring it up to scratch this time and add some creativity, I will ask another person to do it.”
Just at the time I felt I was at the end of my rope, I came before God and prayed, “Oh, God! I have written this proposal three times, but it is still not up to scratch. I truly feel powerless. Oh, God! I had some inspiration before when writing proposals, but this time, I simply have no ideas. What is actually the problem? May You enlighten me, so that I can find the root of the problem.…” After praying, I opened a book of God’s words, and saw these words of God’s: “Now when some matter comes upon people, regardless of what the actual situation is, they think that they can do this and that, so God is not in their hearts, and they do it according to their own intentions. Regardless of whether the course of action is suitable or not, or whether it is in accordance with truth or not, they only stiffen their necks and act according to their personal intentions. It usually seems that God is in their hearts, but when they do things, God is not in their hearts.” “… people do many things in dependence on their experience and the rules they have understood, and on some human imagination. They can barely achieve the very best result, which comes through understandingby them looking to God and praying to God, and then through relying on God’s work and guidance. So I say: The greatest wisdom is to look to God and rely on God in all things.” “If you don’t learn how to look to God and rely on God, you will never see the work God does on you, or the guidance and enlightenment He gives to you.”
God’s words led me to realize this: Since I began to do this proposal, I have modified it twice. During this period of time, I didn’t ever come before God to rely on Him and look up to Him. Instead, I relied on my arrogant nature and my own knowledge and experience while doing the proposal, and even when I had no ideas I still forced myself to modify it. Therefore, no matter how I tried, the proposal still lacked originality, and my boss even wanted to put someone else on it. At this moment, I remembered mankind’s ancestor, Adam. He never went to school and couldn’t read, but he did give the various living creatures of God’s creation their names, among which there was no duplication. This intelligence came from God and was bestowed by God. I also thought of the time when I’d just joined this company. At that time, whenever I had difficulties in drawing up proposals I would eagerly come before God to pray to Him and seek His guidance and help. But after my proposals began to win the boss’ appreciation and the colleagues’ praise, then I treated the wisdom and intelligence from God as my own capital, and took the credit for it myself. I didn’t give the glory to God, and did not go on relying on Him. Especially after I had a sense of achievement, I believed that I already had some experience in doing proposals, and that my being able to gain so much in a short time was due to my good professional abilities and high caliber. Unconsciously, I became arrogant, and started putting God to one side, and didn’t let God in my heart. As a result, I lost the guidance and leadership of God and could achieve nothing.
I also saw God’s words saying, “Sometimes, looking to God doesn’t mean speaking clearly when people pray to God for something, or for God to guide them in some way, or for God to protect them; rather it is that, when they encounter some issue, they are able to call on Him sincerely. So, what is God doing there? When someone’s heart stirs, and they have this idea: ‘Oh God, I can’t do this myself, I don’t know how to do it, and I feel weak and negative,’ when these thoughts arise in them, does God not know about it? When these thoughts arise in man, are people’s hearts sincere? When they call on God sincerely in this way, does God assent to help them? Despite the fact that they may not have spoken a word, they show sincerity, and so God assents to help them.” God’s words had shown me the clear path: Regardless of what situations I encounter, or how difficult the problems I meet are, as long as I come before God, sincerely pray to Him, and truly rely on and look upon Him, I will obtain His guidance and help. Because my intelligence and wisdom all come from God, thus if I do not rely on God, then even if I gain more knowledge and abundant work experience, I will not be able to obtain inspiration and wisdom from God. Just as the Bible says, “The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).
When I found the way to practice in God’s words, I fell down in front of God and prayed: “Oh, God! From Your words, I have found that the reason for the failure of my proposal was that I didn’t rely on and look up to You but just depended on my own abilities and caliber to do it. Oh, God! I know I was wrong. This time, I will not rely on my arrogant disposition to do it, and am willing to put myself aside and rely on and look to You to gain the work and guidance of the Holy Spirit.” After praying, my heart brightened considerably. This time, I didn’t hastily start modifying the proposal as I did before, but prayed to God in my heart and pondered how to modify it to meet the actual demands of the market. One morning several days later, when poring over some material, I suddenly got some inspiration and a new idea. Then I swiftly turned on the computer, and modified the proposal according to the new idea, almost completely overturning the previous idea. Two hours later, a fresh proposal had been produced. I continuously thanked God in my heart, for I knew the new idea wasn’t the result of the knowledge I had learned or of my mind pondering deeply, but was due to the leadership and guidance of God.
Back at work, I once again submitted to my boss the proposal that had been modified three times. My boss read it with nods, and a long-awaited smile emerged on his face. After reading the proposal, he kindly said to me, “This proposal has been well modified. It has some originality. I never thought that you could modify this proposal, which was nearly to be scrapped, so well. How did you do it?” I didn’t reply to him, but smiled instead. However, I understood clearly that if it were not for the wisdom God gave me and the work and guidance of the Holy Spirit, I would not have thought of such a good idea, regardless of the effort I put in.
Through this experience, I saw God’s deeds and got some knowledge of God’s almightiness and wisdom. My faith in God increased and I also learned that nothing is difficult for God. Meanwhile, I have seen that man’s wisdom and inspiration all come from God, and so only by relying on and looking up to God can we obtain success; by depending on our own knowledge and ability we will accomplish nothing. Though there may still be many problems with my proposals in the future, I am willing to rely on and look to God with sincerity to solve these difficulties. Thank God! All glory be to God!