By Keely, United States
When I first arrived in America, I saw that most residential houses are in a western style, each with a green lawn spotted with clusters of colorful flowers in the front. Almost every family beautifies all places around their houses to make the yard look like a garden. As it can be seen, Americans are very mindful of environmental protection, how to live a comfortable life, and how to keep a pleasant mood. Then it suddenly came into my mind that some American friends often said “Live in the present moment.” Does this idea have something to do with their superior living environment?
One day I went with several friends to Main Street. On the bus, I was once again attracted by what I saw: Along the road, there are clusters of flowers before each small building. Some are red as burning flames; some are white like floating clouds; others are dark red as if a beautiful noble lady, silent and dignified. By the roadside and in the park, high-rising trees with thick trunks stand there proudly. They touch each other by the crowns to form a green ocean. … At that moment, it suddenly struck me that this land was especially blessed by God. God dresses it up with the most beautiful flowers and plants and provides a superior living environment for its people. On this land, each and every flower and the grass is flourishing to the fullest, thereby returning the life and vitality given by God as well as showing forth the authority and glory of God’s creation of all things.
On the bus, I was reminded of the origin of Thanksgiving Day, and scenes of Puritans sailing to North America appeared to my mind’s eye: In the semi-late sixteenth century, to escape from persecution, the Puritans traveled by the ship called the Mayflower to this strange and mysterious land. That winter, being cold and hungry, they were in their plight and some of them died of sickness. Just then, the Native Americans offered to teach them how to hunt animals, plant corn, pumpkins, etc. In the second year, they had a bumper harvest and their life turned for the better. These Native Americans had immigrated to North America from Asia prior to 15,000 years. Under God’s orchestration and arrangements, they met the Puritans and they both settled in on this land till today.
I had been thinking, “America is a super power in the world, and since its birth in July, 1776, it only has a history of more than 200 years. But it leads the world in economy, military, and technology. Why does it develop so fast? What makes it so powerful?” Then I remembered a musical documentary entitled “The One Who Holds Sovereignty Over Everything” I had watched online several days ago. The film mentioned America’s rising and mission like this: In the semi-late sixteenth century, a group of people were raised up from the church of England. They opposed the overbearingness of the clergy members and the formalism in the church. They pursued “Pure doctrine, Godly life,” and “Holy church, Free country.” They were called Puritans. In 1604, all Puritans were warned by the British Royal Family to return to the Anglican church and obey the British bishop, or they would be put to death. Since then, Puritans were forced to leave Europe and immigrate to North America. Later, vast batches of Puritans came to this land, too. Either from Cambridge University or Oxford University, they had a generally higher level of knowledge than the common European people. They advocated the teachings of God and the ideas of self-government, equality, and democracy, which were later infused into the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. It can be said that without these Puritans, there wouldn’t be the birth of America, nor the establishment of the political system—the separation of executive, legislative, and judicial powers. Therefore, the Puritans were not only the foundation stone of America, but even the pioneers that made America powerful. … From these facts, I understood that it was the Puritans’ pious attitude toward God and their great resolve to seek justice and light that pleased God, and God bestowed this vast territory of more than nine hundred square kilometers upon them. It was also God who gave an unlimited supply and blessings to this country with mass migrations, thus making it the greatest power on earth. More than that, it was still God who made the glorious history of America.
From this I thought of God’s words, “The rise and fall of a country or nation is predicated upon whether its rulers worship God, and whether they lead their people closer to God and to worship Him.” It can be indeed seen that the rise and fall of a country is dependent on whether its leaders worship God; a good president is not only the bread-giver of the people, but even more, the prime mover in leading them to worship God. As therecords, after David became the king, he did not forget Jehovah God. All the time he thought of building a holy temple for Jehovah God, so that more people could come to worship Him. This was a major factor that David received God’s joy. Afterward, when David’s son Solomon succeeded to the throne, God gave him an inspiration in his dream that he could ask for something from Him. Instead of for wealth and honor, Solomon only implored God for wisdom to manage God’s people. At length, Jehovah God bestowed upon him wisdom and intelligence, as well as wealth and honor, making Solomon the cleverest king of all time. Therefore, he could articulate such pithy knowledge as “The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).
Here we see that no matter what living environment or ideas we possess, knowing God and worshiping God is our first priority. Because it is God who controls and rules over the fate of a country or nation, and who decides the rise and fall of it. God’s words says, “God created this world, He created this mankind…. Only God consoles this mankind, and only God cares for this mankind night and day. Human development and progress is inseparable from the sovereignty of God, and the history and future of mankind are inextricable from the designs of God. … God alone knows the fate of a country or nation, and God alone controls the course of this mankind.” If one leaves God, regardless of a president or an ordinary person, he will lose the goal and direction of his life and walk onto the path to ruination, if a country leaves God, it will surely wane and fester. All this throws the significance of knowing God into great prominence. No one other than God can give us humans real peace and joy, and only by worshiping God can a country or nation be in the ascendant, because God is the only salvation for us and the Ruler of all things.