By Zhen Yan
A few days ago, I saw a short video on Facebook, and the general idea of it was that there were some movie stars and celebrity entrepreneurs who were rich but all died in their primes. Especially, when it said, “Fu Biao was rich, and he had the liver transplant twice, but finally he still left this world; Wang Junyao possessed RMB 3.5 billion, yet, he was unable to buy an inch of healthy intestine,” I was deeply touched, and felt these words were so true. They are the words from the bottom of an awakener’s heart, so as to exhort us to cherish our health and life and not to repeat their tragedies.
However, just as what the awakener said, in real life, although we clearly know the road of pursuing fame and gains is a blind alley, we still rush forth crazily along that road unyieldingly, and no one stops his footsteps. When we come to this world, from childhood to adolescence, we have a course to recognize this world. During this time, what we hear are the views of “Knowledge can change one’s fate,” and “building a beautiful home with our own two hands”; what we see are the vanity of this world and the evil trends coming one after another: the hot trends of buying cars and houses, traveling abroad, going to a famous university, taking the famous teachers as their masters, and studying abroad. Also, this neighbor becomes a government official in the municipal government; that relative purchases a new house and also a car; the grandson of Aunt Chen gets into a famous university; the son of Aunt Zhang has gone to New Zealand…. These people and things with dazzling halos are attracting our eyes and more have occupied our minds, so we are lured to pursue the career and to pursue to be the prominent persons, bringing honor and glory to our ancestors. When we are guided by these thoughts, every one of us will unconsciously strive for this goal, and uncontrollably throw ourselves into the rolling waves of chasing after the fame and wealth …
Because we consider that money can help us go through the difficulties, and that the high position will bring us glory, thus we work from dawn to dusk. Even if skipping our eating and sleeping, we think nothing of it. Fame and fortune has been our capital that we rely on to live, and at the same time, we also become the slaves of it. Some are incapable of going back again after they have made great achievements; some fail, yet after a painful struggle, they still continue rushing forth. Whoever of us is all hard to throw off the shackles of fame and wealth, and no one has given thought to what fame and wealth will bring us: Is it blessing or misfortune on earth? When we get these things, our vanity is satisfied: We can eat well, enjoy ourselves and can be looked upon by others. However, it is not until we encounter the diseases and disasters that we find that we have nothing except to face agony and death …
I was the same as everyone before and eager to be an outstanding woman, winning honor for my ancestors. Having been devoting myself to writing, I had the fancy that I could become a famous writer someday, gaining both fame and wealth. However, when I got married, my plan was upset uncharitably by the reality. Because my husband was ill, not only did I have to work to earn money for raising my family, but I also needed to take care of him and my young child. Moreover, I had to bear the beating and scolding from my husband. I was unable to achieve my dream of being a writer. At that time, I felt the life was without a slightest expectation, and I was often too depressed to feel relief, feeling that my spirit would break down at any time. I only expected that I could depart this life to extricate myself from this situation as soon as possible. Just when I was in hopelessness, an old sister preached the of the Lord to me. From then on, I knew that the is the Creator, and that we human beings’ birth and death, and whether we are poor or rich are all under the control of God. Especially, I read in the Bible that the Israelites who lived under the law were faced with the danger of being put to death by law, because they committed more and more sins, resulting in having no enough sin offerings to atone. Under this circumstance, the Lord Jesus showed mercy to the humans. In order to save mankind, He became flesh as a sin offering to replace us humans to be nailed on the cross, and saved us from the capital crime. At that moment, I felt very warm in my heart, and experienced that the salvation of God to man is real, and that only God can save us from the sin. Afterward, I read the words of the Lord every day, and the anxiety and distress in my heart unknowingly disappeared, and my life was also filled with joy. Seeing the verse says “Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mat 11:28), I particularly said Amen to these words in my heart. Thinking of that time, if I hadn’t believed in the Lord, even if I don’t die, I would have been tortured into madness. The grace of God has thoroughly changed my fate.
Through my experience, I was able to appreciate: Living in this world, we can’t foresee whether our future fate is good or bad, but we can give ourselves to God. God’s word is the beacon to us on our life journey. We can’t change anything by ourselves; however, God can lead us, making us abandon the wrongful path and walk forward in the right direction, for God is our Lord. Only with the guidance of God can we not lose our way, and only then can we live out a meaning life with value.
One day, a brother in the Lord shared two passages of words with me. I feel they are beneficial to our life, thus I share them with everyone:
“People spend their lives chasing after money and fame; they clutch at these straws, thinking they are their only means of support, as if by having them they could keep on living, could exempt themselves from death. But only when they are close to dying do they realize how distant these things are from them, how weak they are in the face of death, how easily they shatter, how lonely and helpless they are, with nowhere to turn. They realize that life cannot be bought with money or fame, that no matter how wealthy a person is, no matter how lofty his or her position is, all people are equally poor and inconsequential in the face of death. They realize that money cannot buy life, that fame cannot erase death, that neither money nor fame can lengthen a person’s life by a single minute, a single second. The more people feel this way, the more they yearn to keep on living; the more people feel this way, the more they dread the approach of death. Only at this point do they truly realize that their lives do not belong to them, are not theirs to control, and that one has no say over whether one lives or dies, that all of this lies outside of one’s control” (“God Himself, the Unique III”).
“Because the essence of God is holy, that means that only through God can you walk the bright, right road through life; only through God can you know the meaning of life, only through God can you live out a real life, possess the truth, know the truth, and only through God can you obtain life from the truth. Only God Himself can help you shun evil and deliver you from the harm and control of Satan. Besides God, no one and nothing can save you from the sea of suffering so that you suffer no longer: This is determined by the essence of God” (“God Himself, the Unique VI”).