By Yang Laidi I’m Yang Laidi, sixty-two years old this year. In 1985, because my husband had health problems, our […]
Tonight, the Dormitory Light Comes On
It was freezing cold in winter. The whole city was like a big icehouse. In the evening, Chenxi was on the way to the self-study classroom. Pulling up her collar higher, she rapidly put her hands into her pockets. She thought, how cold it was!
Two years ago, like many students who left their homes, she left her parents and came to the city to study. She imagined having a wonderful campus life and everyone striving toward their own ideals. But the reality broke her wonderful yearning.
In her dormitory lived six girls with very different characters, three of whom were the “only daughter.” They all had different living habits. As time went by, many conflicts appeared. Formerly, Chenxi always indulged her roommates, not quibbling over many little things in life. She thought believers in God shouldn’t act the same as unbelievers. She, therefore, always forbore with their unreasonable requests. However, these days, as soon as it grew dark, her roommates would turn the light off to see movies. Their reason was that turning off the light could create an atmosphere of cinema. This thing troubled her a lot. She wanted to read books and review lessons in the dormitory, for she would get exams after some time and she didn’t want to go to the self-study classroom on her own at night. Though she had tried many times to consult with them on whether they could turn on the light, their attitude was nevertheless rather inflexible. Every time they broke up in discord.
She had to brace herself to walk toward the self-study classroom. The more she thought about it, the more she felt angry: Is it reasonable not to study? You can see movies, but why insist on turning off the light? You are indeed selfish. Considering she was for studying, she even more felt what she did was correct while her roommates were at fault. Looking at the empty campus, she thought: Other students must be in their dormitories. If my roommates had not insisted on switching the light off to see movies, I wouldn’t have gone out suffering this. … At that time, she suddenly realized: It’s wrong to think in this way. Am not I falling into the influence of Satan? She hastened toto God silently in her heart, “O God! My stature is too small. When things happen to me, I always fixate my eyes on others, thinking they are not good. I’m often angry with my roommates at such trifles. Please keep me from living under Satan’s control. …” After the prayer, she remembered , “People do not require much of themselves, but they require much of others. They must be patient and forbearing of them, cherish them, provide for them, smile at them, be accommodating to them, and yield to them. … and they cannot …do anything that they would not like. Man’s reason is so lacking!” “Your reputation has been destroyed, your bearing is degrading, your way of speaking is lowly, your life is despicable, and even all of your humanity is lowly. You are narrow-minded toward people and you haggle over every little thing.” She examined herself while walking on the road. She recognized that the reason why she felt angry and aggrieved was not on account of others’ problems actually, but was that her nature was too selfish. For fear that her roommates hindered her from studying, she held some views against them, thinking they were selfish. In truth, it resulted from her selfish nature. Consequently, once her roommates’ deeds involved her interests, she would begin to fuss over things and quarrel with them, living by the poison of Satan “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” She also realized that today, that she suffered coldness was the consequence of being unwilling to relinquish herself. God’s words revealed that we mankind are unqualified to require much of others. God said that it is an expression of lacking a reason to require too much of others and ask them to go with our own ideas. She came to realize that as a , she should practice according to God’s words in all things but not be angry with classmates in this way, or she would lose testimony before Satan. Thinking of those, she prayed silently to God, “O God! Today I realize that my nature is too selfish. When my roommates’ deeds are disagreeable to me, I am unwilling to obey, and even have quarrels with them, having no likeness of a Christian. God, I’m willing to practice the truth and obey the environment You arranged. May You lead me to put it into practice. …” After praying, she immediately had strength, no longer feeling that their turning off the light was wrong, but instead feeling that she should adjust to them and should not ram her opinions down their throat. It was the manifestation of arrogance and selfishness.
When understanding these, she wanted to go back to the dormitory, instead of going to the self-study classroom alone. Regardless of whether she could read books and whether the deadlock among them could be resolved, she was willing to face it. Because the intention of God was to let her learn to put herself aside. This lesson was arranged by God, was which she needed to enter. And also, she needed to transform herself.
Chenxi went toward the dormitory. Her heart was still somewhat uneasy, for she didn’t know what waited for her next: maybe an unlighted light, their dissatisfaction or anything else …
She pushed open the door nervously. A warm air blew into her face. “You are back, Chenxi. Have you eaten dinner? Turn on the light and eat your dinner.” A roommate said to her. In an instant, she blushed, asking, “Won’t I interfere with your seeing movies?” “Oh, it’s okay. In the future, we’ll see movies with the light on. Eat your dinner while it is still warm. …” She looked around at her roommates. Hesitating for a moment, she put on the light. She felt the light tonight was especially bright. She couldn’t help smiling, pleased, beyond all concealment. She was so surprised how their attitude could be changed so greatly. She sighed with emotion that she just practiced a little truth but received such a big surprise. She felt that God is too amiable and lovely!