What is the meaning of the apostle Paul’s words “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)? This article will tell you the answer and how to pray without ceasing.
Reflections on Dead Body Landmarks on Mt. Everest
I trust everyone is familiar with Mount Everest, which is called the top of the world. Numbers of people view cresting it as their ultimate goal, because that will give them satisfaction and great prestige. Many years, Mount Everest has attracted countless climbers across the world, but in fact, very few have been able to get to the summit. Instead, there are so many people who have lost their lives during the process, some corpses being missing, some being taken down the mountain, and some becoming dead body landmarks.
On May 21, 2018, a piece of news was blazed that a 35-year-old mountaineer from Japan, who was on his way down Everest after failing in his attempt to reach the top, died due to low body temperature near the second camp of the mountain at an altitude of 6,400 meters. He had tried many times to climb Everest, but every time he ended in failure. In 2012, he even lost nine of his fingers with frost-bite, and so was dubbed as one-fingered mountaineer.
Not a few people died in climbing Everest. Statistics show that, from 1921 to 2017, 288 people were killed in their attempts on the mountain. Since 1921, on average 4 people have died each year in scaling Everest. From 2000 to 2017, deaths have increased to 6.5 annual deaths. Among 8306 people who have climbed Everest, 80 have died during the climb, which makes up 27 percent of all deaths.
The majority of the victims died from rolling down the mountain, avalanches, or altitude sickness, and most of the corpses could only be left on the mountain and were rapidly frozen as hard as stone, becoming the dead body landmarks on Everest.
When I saw these shocking statistics, I was stunned. Over these years, the number of those who died climbing Everest has continued unabated, but there are still many people who want to conquer it. So, what on earth makes them head for the formidable Everest wave upon wave? What is the force that provokes them to take up the unusual challenge, even at the cost of their lives?
I couldn’t help but remember God’s words: “Satan uses fame and gain to control man’s thoughts until all they can think of is fame and gain. They struggle for fame and gain, suffer hardships for fame and gain, endure humiliation for fame and gain, sacrifice everything they have for fame and gain, and they will make any judgment or decision for fame and gain. In this way, Satan binds man with invisible shackles. These shackles are borne on people, and they have not the strength nor courage to throw them off. So people trudge ever onward in great difficulty, unknowingly bearing these shackles. For the sake of this fame and gain, mankind shuns God and betrays Him, and they become more and more wicked. In this way, therefore, one generation after another is destroyed in the fame and gain of Satan.”
I realized from God’s words that Satan had long ago inculcated man with mistaken perspectives. From the textbooks to newspapers, magazines and various news reports, there is nothing that does not praise the ideas of great people and the stories of the famous, nothing that does not tell us that, in our lives we should foster lofty ideals and ambitions, be a challenging person, and seek to distinguish ourselves, and that this is the ambition that people should have. Without the truth, we can’t differentiate right from wrong at all, and so unwittingly accept the viewpoints that originate from Satan. As a result, we take standing out from the crowd as the goal for our lives, believing that only that kind of life is a life of value, and will not be in vain. For example, those who are eager to reach the top of Mount Everest are also deeply afflicted by the harm of satanic views. Although climbing Everest is known to be risky and makes climbers prone to losing their lives, in order to prove that they are not like everyone else, to stand out from among those climbers and to win praise and admiration from others, many climbers still scramble to conquer Everest every year, crying out “Overcome the self,” “Challenge the limit,” and “Climb the highest peak of the earth to make the dream real.” They would rather risk their lives to try to scale the peak of Mount Everest, as if only by making it can they express their individual value. So, full of desire to be better than others, they constantly challenge dangers during the climb, through which they attempt to gain a so-called “extraordinary” life.
Let’s quiet our hearts and contemplate it: What can the fame and gain that we pursue bring to us? From ancient times to the present, many people struggled for fame and gain, but as their lives came to an end, they found that everything was ephemeral, and that they had gained nothing. Witnessing how these people have paid for fame and gain with their lives, we can’t help but feel overcome with emotion. If we have no discernment on the tactics Satan employs to corrupt man and still involuntarily pursue the wrong path of people corrupted by Satan, then we will, in the end, be a sacrificial offering to it.
As we all know, as the roof of the world, Everest is covered with ice and snow for much of the year, and is extremely precipitous with a very complex environment. Such a harsh environment is not suitable for people going. God’s words say: “In cold regions, temperatures can probably fall to minus 50 to 60 degrees Celsius. Such a region is not a place God allows man to live. Why are there such cold regions? Within this lie God’s wisdom and intentions. He does not allow you to go near those places. God protects places that are too hot and too cold, meaning He is not prepared to allow man to live there. It is not for mankind. Why would He allow such places to exist on earth? If God would not allow man to live there or exist there, then why would God create them? God’s wisdom lies therein. That is, the basic temperature of the environment for human survival has also been reasonably adjusted by God. There is also a law here. God created some things to help maintain such a temperature, to control this temperature.” It can be seen that God’s wisdom and wondrousness are unfathomable to any created being, and that behind everything God does is His will and wisdom. When God created the heavens and earth and all things, not only did He create a place mankind can live in and a suitable living environment for us, in order to regulate the temperature on earth, He also created some places that are not suitable for man to live and linger in. Take Mount Everest for example. It is covered with snow and ice year-round, and the coldest temperature on the top ranges from minus 30 to 40 degrees Celsius all year long. There are also the South Pole and North Pole, which are known to all. They are all not for us humans, and are places we should not go near. Only by keeping our place and living in the suitable places where God has arranged for us to live can we have joy and happiness. If we don’t listen to God’s words but always go against them, what our deeds will bring to us can only be bitter fruits and misfortunes.
God’s words say: “For the things that every manner of God’s work brings to man are all positive things. Firstly, God requires man to be honest—isn’t this positive? God gives man wisdom—isn’t this positive? God makes man able to discern between good and evil—isn’t this positive? He allows man to understand the meaning and value of human life—isn’t this positive? He allows man to see into the essence of people, events, and things in accordance with truth—isn’t this positive? (Yes, it is.) And the result of all this is that man is no longer deceived by Satan, no longer to continue to be harmed by Satan or controlled by it. In other words, they allow people to completely free themselves from the corruption of Satan, and therefore gradually walk the path of fearing God and shunning evil.”
God’s words tell us that God is the reality of all positive things. Only by reading more of God’s words can we see clearly the means that Satan employs to corrupt man, tell the difference between positive and negative things, and know what we should do and what we should not do. In this way, when Satan tempts us to challenge our limits to become great and extraordinary, as we know after creating mankind God has never asked us to be great and extraordinary but wants us to live on earth in a down-to-earth manner, then we will come before God, be a true created being, live according to the trajectory of our lives that God has set for us, and thus receive God’s protection and care. Only such a life allows us to achieve true peace and happiness. This is why God’s words are the guide of our lifetime. What we really need is the guidance of God’s words. Only when we understand the truth from God’s words can we free ourselves from Satan’s afflictions and live out a life of meaning.
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