By Qiao Hui
Life is short, just a few decades. In the blink of an eye, good things pass by. As life goes by, everything is nothing but fleeting clouds. You did not bring anything with you when you were born and you cannot take anything with you after you die. Before closing your eyes, what will you wish your memories are filled with?
In this noisy and materialistic society, competition is everywhere. It has become a common phenomenon that people are not content with the status quo, and thus they have more requirements and higher desires for themselves. Some look very ordinary, but they dream that they can be as beautiful as Snow White and become the focus of public attention, and thus they boldly enter the beauty clinic, willing to go under the knife. However, unexpectedly they are disfigured by the plastic surgery. As a result, the pain will be with them all their lives. Some were born in a poor family, but they hope that their family becomes rich and they can live a life where they are above others. Therefore, they try every way to strive for that all their lives. Finally, though they have devoted all their energies to that, and in return they are mentally and physically exhausted and suffering the torture of illness. At this point, the money they have earned is so weak in the face of illness, and happiness is also rather distant from them. Some have been very unfortunate in their official career, but they wish that their fortunes will rise spectacularly. For the sake of their reputation and interests, they fight fiercely in official circles, contemplating how to achieve a high rank. As a result, some suffer from melancholia due to tremendous pressure when they are very young; some suddenly die of overwork; some even sell themselves out to maintain a good interpersonal relationship with others, giving themselves willingly to others to be violated, and finally they suffer from different kinds of diseases. … In short, those who have always strived to achieve their ambitions and desires in daily life have suffered all sorts of pains and misfortunes, and in the end, everything is in vain. In this way, their life passes quickly.
As for these unrealistic and excessive desires, we call them “impractical demands.” In regard to insistent expending without considering the consequences to fulfill those unrealistic purposes, we call this “blind acts.” If we act blindly, we usually can’t achieve our goals, but instead we need to pay a heavy price for it, and in the end we will feel weary in body and mind.
God’s word cuts to the point and reveals the source of this issue, “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly, with a rebellious attitude, and always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed; they are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, is painful; the pain is unforgettable; and all the while one is frittering away one’s life. What is the cause of this pain? Is it because of God’s sovereignty, or because a person was born unlucky? Obviously neither is true. At bottom, it is because of the paths people take, the ways people choose to live their lives. Some people may not have realized these things. But when you truly know, when you truly come to recognize that God has sovereignty over human fate, when you truly understand that everything God has planned for and decided for you is a great benefit, and is a great protection, then you feel your pain gradually lighten, and the whole of you become relaxed, free, liberated” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). Pondering God’s word, I realize all kinds of pains we have suffered in order to pursue our personal interests are not because we are born unlucky, but because we do not recognize God’s sovereignty. Why are there “impractical demands” and “blind acts” in us? This is to show that we want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty, hoping to compete with others, seek status and tower above others for satisfying our ambitions and desires. We always think it is a valuable and meaningful life if we can be distinguished from others and stand out from the crowd, as well as become an object to be worshiped and looked up to. However, if we can’t fulfill this, we will be looked down on and left out in the cold. It is meaningless if we live like this, and such life is too lowly! So, each of us has been striving for fame and gain, and we have taken it as goals of our pursuit. And therefore we strive to become outstanding and a special talent as well as to turn ourselves to be extraordinary and superior. In fact, everything God has planned for and decided for us is the best, and can also meet our requirements. But there are always too many impractical demands in us, and we are always dissatisfied with what we have possessed. We want to surpass others in life and work to become the best and brightest who are admired by all. If we can’t achieve our goals, we will feel great pain and suffering in our hearts. Clearly, if one does not recognize God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and he just relies on his own ability to alter his fate, in the end he will definitely lose.
The only way for us to live freely is to turn back to God and accept and submit to His sovereignty and arrangements. Just as God’s word says, “So no matter how far you have walked in life, no matter how old you are now, no matter how long the rest of your journey is, first you must recognize God’s authority and take it seriously, accept the fact that God is your unique Master. Attaining clear, accurate knowledge and understanding of these truths regarding God’s sovereignty over human fate is a mandatory lesson for everyone, is the key to knowing human life and attaining the truth, is the life and basic lesson of knowing God that everyone faces each day, and which no one can evade. If some of you wish to take shortcuts to reach this goal, then I say to you, that is impossible! If some of you want to escape God’s sovereignty, that is even more impossible! God is man’s only Lord, God is the only Master of human fate, and so it is impossible for man to dictate his own fate, impossible for him to surpass it. No matter how great one’s abilities, one cannot influence, much less orchestrate, arrange, control, or change the fates of others. Only the unique God Himself dictates all things for man, for only He possesses the unique authority that holds sovereignty over human fate; and so only the Creator is man’s unique Master” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). God’s words point out the only way for us to get rid of these pains. That is to recognize God’s sovereignty and predestination, put aside extravagant desires in our hearts, and accept God as the unique Master of our fate. Only in this way can we live in joy and peace, freely and happily! In truth, from the moment each of us comes to this world, our life destiny has been set by God. God has long arranged for us everything, which includes the family we are born into, our physical appearances, the circumstances in which we grow up, the work we engage in, and our marriages and descendants. No matter whether we are tall or short, fat or thin, nice or ugly, and rich or poor, we can’t let these become burdens in the path of our lives. Because in the eyes of God, we are all creatures that God created personally, and every one of us is the best and has our value. Just as the weeds are not so beautiful as flowers, nor are they so erect as pines, they can add to this earth green vitality every year and they never complain about their humility; old oxen are born to plow, and they are not spoiled by people, but they abide by their duty every day and serve people diligently, never complaining. … All things live within the course predestined by God, and they never compare themselves to each other, nor do they complain about their ordinary fate. They just adhere to their duties and keep their places, heartily playing their roles in this world. With the adornment of all things, this world becomes more colorful, full of life and vitality.
Please put aside extravagant desires in your hearts, let go of the heavy burdens in your mind, find your position, fulfill your function and submit to God’s sovereignty and predestination. At this moment, you will find God’s sovereignty and arrangements are the best …