The rain is spattering down on the roof of the house. The drip adds some desolation to the peaceful night. Lying on the bed, Xiaoxi can’t fall asleep for a very long time. Thinking of her mother, who passed away a few months ago, she can’t help but feel sad …
As far back as Xiaoxi can remember, the mother, a rural grassroots cadre, moved through the village during the daytime and kept house late at night, working unceasingly every day like a robot. Due to her hard work, their life constantly improved, and was envied by people around them. At the same time, she gained others’ admiration. When Xiaoxi was young, the mother often taught Xiaoxi and her brothers that they should study hard to stand out from others, or they would have no future and be looked down on. Afterward, as each of them had their own family, her mother showed another concern about each family’s affairs. And she always exhorted them to manage the household industriously and frugally, and pay more attention to educating their children, emphasizing that they should live a good life and never lag behind. At the time that she was old, she exhorted Xiaoxi’s children to study hard again …
Just when the mother, old and weak, lay down on her sickbed and couldn’t move, she didn’t exhort them any longer. At this time, Xiaoxi could only see her desire for life and sorrow for fear of death. And her mother often said in her last days: “So-and-so is older while stronger than me. Why am I so bad? When can I get better?” “Alas … Having suffered a life time, I gain nothing … Everything is empty … So valueless …”
Just at this moment, Xiaoxi thinks of God’s words: “Because of the Creator’s sovereignty and predestination, a lonely soul that started out with nothing to its name gains parents and a family, the chance to become a member of the human race, the chance to experience human life and see the world; and it also gains the chance to experience the Creator’s sovereignty, to know the marvelousness of the creation by the Creator, and most of all, to know and become subject to the Creator’s authority. But most people do not really seize this rare and fleeting opportunity. 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” (“God Himself, the Unique III”).
Pondering God’s words, Xiaoxi understands a lot: Thanks to God’s sovereignty and arrangement, we gain the chance to be born in the world, and have family and relatives that accompany us so that we don’t feel lonely when we are growing up; we also gain the chance to experience the life, to experience the Creator’s sovereignty, and to know the marvelousness of the creation by the Creator, so we have the opportunity to become subject to the Creator’s authority, to enjoy the Creator’s provision of life to us, and to attain the truth and life and live a valuable and meaningful life. However, when we enjoy God’s provision and sovereignty, none of us come before the Creator actively to listen to the Creator’s word and to know the marvelousness of the creation by the Creator. Instead, during our short and precious life, we seek fame, fortune and status, love the world and money, and bustle about our family and children. Only when we come to death, we truly understand: The fame and fortune we strive for and see as precious are just like fleeting clouds, visionary and empty; the status and fortune we possess can never protect us from death. From ancient to modern, from Chinese to foreign, we can see: All people, from the honored king to the common man, spent their lives pursuing wealth and status, while they had nothing but regret and emptiness when they were close to dying. Just as my mother spent her life bustling for fame and fortune, and also for her children. Only when her youth had fled, and she became wrinkled; when she got sickness, and the death was just around the corner, did she understand all her life was empty and meaningless. Nowadays, she has passed away, and what she left is just the sentimentality and reluctance to leave …
The night is deeper. With the drip of the rain, Xiaoxi feels sad for her mother’s whole life, and sorry for her alive relatives. As when she preached God’sto them, they declined and even refused with sneering civility. What they pursue are just money and fame, so they push away God’s salvation with their hands.
Aside from the sadness, Xiaoxi is even more thankful for God’s great love and protection to her. He has saved her from the domain of Satan, made her no longer walk in the path of failure once walked by the people of the past but know how to live meaningfully, so she walks on the right way of human life. Just as God’s words say: “As a created being, you should of course worship God and pursue a meaningful life. If you don’t worship God and live in the filthy flesh, then aren’t you just a beast in human attire? As a human being, you should expend for God and endure all suffering. You should gladly and assuredly accept the little suffering you are subjected to today and live a meaningful life, like Job, like Peter. In this world, man wears the devil’s clothing, eats food given by the devil, and works and serves under the devil’s thumb, becoming trampled in its filth. If you don’t grasp the meaning of life or the true way, then what is the point of your life? You are people who pursue the right path, those who seek improvement. You are people who rise up in the nation of the great red dragon, those whom God calls righteous. Isn’t that the most meaningful life?” (“Practice (2)”).
This moment, Xiaoxi grasps more. If we just lives for seeking food, clothes and enjoyment, bustling about filling our stomach, and struggling for fame and fortune, then our life is meaningless and can only end with emptiness and misery. As creation, enjoying the life bestowed by God, we should, follow God, pursue to know God, love God, gain the Creator’s care and guidance, and be approved by the Creator eventually. This is only the most meaningful life. Just as Job, though he possessed of great wealth, yet he never enjoyed the fame, status, or the luxurious life. On the contrary, he looked upon God in his heart, had a heart that fears Him in everything and never did the things that offend Him. When the trial came upon him, though he lost a mountain of cattle and ship and all of his property, he didn’t forsake the name of Jehovah but praised Him. He believed that God gave and God has taken away. So he was approved and looked upon with cherishment by God. When he was old, he died, being full of the days according to the . He feared God and shunned evil all his life, becoming one of those who please Him. So he gained God and received the true happiness and satisfaction. Or as another example, Peter. In his life, he didn’t seek physical pleasures. Conversely, he cherished and judgment and chastisement, and only pursued to know Him and love Him all his life. At last he loved God to the highest level and was crucified upside down for God. He became the best in knowledge of God, and was made perfect by God, thereby becoming an exemplar for future generations. Both Job and Peter walked on the right way of human life and lived the most meaningful and valuable life.
At this time, Xiaoxi has a more clear direction and more motivation for the road ahead. She only wishes to follow the Creator with her heart and soul all her life, experience the Creator’s sovereignty and pursue to gain the truth, and not spend her life in vain.