When I was little, teachers always taught us, “If you want to establish yourselves in society and live towering above others, then you must learn knowledge.” Gradually, notions of “Knowledge can change one’s fate” and “The worth of other pursuits is small, the study of books excels them all” were planted within my mind. I began to immerse myself in the ocean of knowledge, wanting to do nothing but study all day long. Especially after I entered high school, I studied without a rest, more like a fully-wound clock. When it was just dawning, I had already gotten out of bed and read books at my desk; at night, when it had long been as dark as pitch outside, my room was still filled with dim light—sometimes I studied and wouldn’t go to sleep until after midnight, and sometimes I studied all night long, with only a short rest on the desk to relieve the tiredness…. With society developing rapidly, the competition is becoming more and more fierce. So at that time, all of my efforts were just made in order to enter an ideal university and get a diploma in higher education, so that I could find a good job in the society to earn money, to obtain fame and gain, and to live towering above others…. After more than ten years of grueling study, I finally fulfilled my college dream. Although I entered university, I still did not dare to treat my study lightly. In order to gain true abilities, I listened earnestly in class and painstakingly studied professional knowledge after class; besides, for broadening my outlook, I always stayed in the library to read lots of books…. Few years later, I got a diploma and certificates of honor—my many years of hard work was reciprocated at last. I felt cheerful inside, my face was filled with happy smiles, and I planned the blueprint for my wonderful future.
After graduating from college, I stepped into the society. Full of confidence, I proudly thought that with these certificates and a college diploma, I could definitely find a good job. Hence, I gladly sent my resume to many companies which offered jobs related to my major. After that, I stayed at home waiting for their telephone calls. Before long, my phone rang and I picked it up excitedly, but every time what I heard was something like this, “Sorry, sir. The knowledge you have learned is inapplicable in our company….” “I’m sorry that our job vacancies are filled already….” or “Excuse me, sir. Our company needs someone with work experience….” These words of polite refusals extinguished the flame of hope in my heart. After I hung up the phone, my heart couldn’t calm down for a long time. A strong sense of loss arose spontaneously, and I thought to myself: I’m full of knowledge, but why cannot I find a good job? Could it be said that knowledge cannot change my destiny? Why is that?
I couldn’t reconcile myself to gaining nothing through the efforts which I had paid so many years and to spending my whole life in mediocrity. Thus, with a thread of hope I kept rushing about in the vast sea of humanity to look for a job. But results I got were still the words of polite refusals … Faced with these cruel blows, I felt completely exhausted and could not breathe from the unemployment pressure. Every day I focused on my phone to browse job-search websites, read newspaper to search for the companies which needed staffers…. Each and every day and night, all I thought about was looking for a job. In this familiar and strange city, I kept rushing about in the streets, regardless of the wind and rain. I asked around, but still had no idea where to go. At dusk, on my way home in the bus, I frowned and was full of worries. Staring at the passers-by outside the window blankly, I fell asleep unconsciously because of tiredness. At the time when I waked up, I did not know how many stops had past my house already. Without any gain, I sat in the empty street. Looking up at the starlit sky, how much I wanted to wail, but I couldn’t. The only thing I could do was shed tears, silently and alone. Each sentence of the words of polite refusals echoed in my mind and struck my heart time and again …
The cruel reality disillusioned me ruthlessly, and crushed my dream of the future. In the midst of my pain, I couldn’t help reflecting: Why am I still unable to change my destiny when I have enough knowledge? Why are the dictums useless, such as “Knowledge can change one’s fate” and “The worth of other pursuits is small, the study of books excels them all”? Are my teachers’ instructions wrong? Why is the diploma I got after more than ten years’ diligent study just like a waste paper? Could it be that my pursuit these years was wrong? Thinking of these, I had a feeling of being deceived. Instantly, my heart was full of incomparably dreariness and pain. And I could not help but look toward the sky and sigh: Why cannot a good horse meet a good judge of horses? Is this the result of my grueling study for so many years? Over more than ten years, how many days and nights I have spent in striving and struggling only for the purpose of using my knowledge to change my destiny, to get a satisfactory job in this competitive society, and to be able to stand out and live towering above others. But why am I repaid with nothing now? Why on earth is this? I screamed in my heart: Why cannot knowledge change my destiny? …
My mind was really in a mess, because my dream of changing my destiny by relying on knowledge crashed. And there was no one I could tell about my sadness and worries. Was this the ending of my whole life? Afterward, I heard a song by chance: “The Almighty has mercy on these people who suffer deeply. At the same time, He is fed up with these people who have no consciousness, because He has to wait too long for the answer from humans. He desires to seek, seek your heart and your spirit. He wants to bring you food and water and to awaken you, so you are no longer thirsty, no longer hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel the desolation of this world, do not be perplexed, do not cry. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival any time” (“God Is Seeking Your Heart and Your Spirit”).
In listening, I burst into tears in spite of myself. As if I heard a mother was calling her child who had lost for years, my drifting heart found a direction and a sense of belonging: I eventually found my home. It turned out that God has been watching by my side and waiting for me to return to His side all along. God’s clarion call to me made my lonely heart no longer drift about and wander, nor perplexed and crying …
One day, I read another passage of word, “Some people choose a good major in college and end up finding a satisfactory job after graduation, making a triumphant first stride in the journey of their lives. Some people learn and master many different skills and yet never find a job that suits them or find their position, much less have a career; at the outset of their life journey they find themselves thwarted at every turn, beset by troubles, their prospects dismal and their lives uncertain. Some people apply themselves diligently to their studies, yet narrowly miss all their chances to receive a higher education, and seem fated never to achieve success, their very first aspiration in the journey of their lives dissolving into thin air. Not knowing[d] whether the road ahead is smooth or rocky, they feel for the first time how full of variables human destiny is, and so regard life with hope and dread. Some people, despite not being very well educated, write books and achieve a measure of fame; some, though almost totally illiterate, make money in business and are thereby able to support themselves…. What occupation one pursues, what one does for a living, and how much wealth one amasses in life are not decided by one’s parents, one’s talents, one’s efforts or one’s ambitions, but are predetermined by the Creator” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). After reading, I came to know that the fate of man is controlled by the hands of God, and cannot be changed by knowledge. No matter how many talents or how much knowledge we have, we are still incapable of controlling our own destinies or escaping from God’s sovereignty and arrangements. I always believed that “Knowledge can change one’s fate” and that as long as I worked hard and got a diploma in higher education, my destiny must become good. This viewpoint was totally wrong. Even though I had acquired knowledge, got the diploma and various certifies of honor, it did not mean that I could gain status, get a good job, earn enough money, and obtain fame and gain in this competitive society. My personal experience proved that changing one’s destiny by relying on knowledge was just a dream and a wrong viewpoint that Satan imbued with us. If we lived according to the satanic laws of survival, we could only be fooled and harmed by Satan, lose the care and protection of God, and end up falling into pain and loss, not knowing what to do. Now, I realized that we could not gain a good destiny through our hard work, much less could our destinies be changed by relying on knowledge. Instead, we should come before God to seek the truth, discern and reject the satanic laws of survival, possess the right outlook on life and values, and ultimately be able to obey God, fear God, and receive His leading and guidance. Only in this way could we live freely and without restraints, and live out a life of value and meaning.
Later on, I read some other word saying, “During the process of man’s learning of knowledge, Satan will employ any method so people satisfy their own lusts and realize their own ideals. Are you clear on exactly what road Satan wants to lead you to? … Satan uses a very subtle kind of way, a way very much in concert with people’s notions; it is not any kind of radical way. In the midst of unawareness, people come to accept Satan’s way of living, its rules of living, establishing life goals and their direction in life, and in doing so they also unknowingly come to have ideals in life. No matter how high-sounding these ideals in life seem, they are just a pretext that is inextricably linked to fame and gain. … Can people still have any control over themselves once they go over to the side of Satan in this way and become loyal to it? Certainly not. They are completely and utterly controlled by Satan. They are also completely and utterly unable to free themselves from the quagmire they have sunk down into. Once someone is mired in fame and gain, they no longer seek that which is bright, that which is righteous or those things that are beautiful and good. This is because the seductive power that fame and gain have over people is too great, and they become things for people to pursue throughout their lives and even for all eternity without end. Is this not true?” (“God Himself, the Unique VI”). After reading these words, I had further realized: In our pursuit of knowledge, Satan imbues us with quite a bit of its laws of survival, enticing us to be distanced from God and deny God. Using this, it tries to obstruct us from coming before God and wants us to lose the salvation from God completely. Satan is so insidious and venomous! Thinking back to when I was at school, I learned knowledge hard in order to establish a foothold in this competitive society and to live a life where I was above others. But the cruel reality drastically disillusioned me and smashed my entire life plan. No matter how hard I tried and how much I suffered, after my diligent application to my studies for more than ten years, I was still incapable of changing my destiny and ended up living in endless heartbreak and suffering. It turned out that Satan used my desire of pursuing fame and fortune to fool and harm me, made me complain about the injustice of my fate, come up with misunderstandings and complaints about God, and thus live in passive resistance. I appreciated God’s timely salvation which allowed me to see clearly Satan’s evil and baseness, to break free from Satan’s deception and control, and to understand that only by turning to God and submitting to God’s sovereignty and arrangements could we obtain God’s mercy and concern.
From then on, I decided to entrust myself into God’s hands, letting Him take charge of my life. No matter what occupation I would take up, I was willing to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements. Ever since I acceptedof God, I have actively lived the church life, read God’s words, and sung hymns in praise of God, and I can get the nourishment, feeding, watering and supply of God’s word every day. And with my previous mistaken point of view turned around, my heart attains liberation and freedom, my face beams with gratification, and I am no longer depressed or in pain. I always attend gatherings and fellowship about the truth with the brothers and sisters to worship and praise God. My life is full of peace and joy now.
In my backward glance, I suddenly realize that the Creator is not at all far from us. He accompanies us from dawn to dusk, endows us with the truth, and guides us in the direction of our progress. Only by accepting and obeying all of the Creator’s arrangements can I live a life of the utmost meaning. Suddenly, it reminds me of a hymn: “The solitary soul comes from the distance, seeking the past and exploring the future. Bitterly it struggles, pursuing its dreams. Nobody can tell where it comes from, and where it goes. It was born in crying and gone in despair, enduring being trampled. Your arrival ends the bitter, wandering life. It sees the hope, and welcomes the morning light. Taking a look in the gloom, dimly it sees Your image. That is Your light. Yesterday it drifted in a strange place, today it has found its home. Having been ruined, it’s without human likeness. Lamenting: the life is like an empty dream. Your arrival ends the bitter, wandering life. There shall be no wandering, nor confusion any more. I have come back home. I have seen Your white clothes and Your light. How many times the round returns, and how many times we are waiting for You—Almighty God. Your coming makes the solitary soul sad no more. It has found its direction, the millennial dream” (“Time”).
By Youran, China