In early summer, the Chinese roses were at their brightest in the yard. They had attractive bright red petals, and dotted with a few crystal dewdrops, they were even more loveable. When I stooped to smell them, a rich perfume greeted me so that I couldn’t help having tender affection for them. Looking up I saw there were many opening buds beside the full-blown flowers. Although they were not as delicate and charming as the blossoming flowers, they would soon be in bloom. Seeing them, I smiled a sweet smile, because they made me think of a word—goodness.
Then, my eyes rested on an overblown flower. It had already lost its former charm. Its outer petals had turned yellow and some petals had scattered on the ground. The whole flower looked incomplete and it no longer gave forth the sweet fragrance. Looking at it, my heart produced a tinge of sadness: How long could the blossoming flower last? The florescence is short and transient. Everyone has their own “florescence,” and when the florescence of our life comes quietly, how should we cherish this one-time-only goodness of life?
When I was 17, I worked in a factory. Day after day, I worked like a robot, feeling bored. In my spare time, I always imagined: Now, I’m 17. Ten years later, will I still sit here doing the same work? Maybe at that time I would have already been married and have had my kids, living a dreary and ordinary life in the family like ordinary people do…. Would my life hurriedly come to its end in such a dull and empty way? I saw that countless people around me repeat the trajectory of others’ lives, and without another way of life. At this idea, I felt pity for my youth and was not willing to waste it! Since the youth stays not, how could I let it become more meaningful?
Some say that they should take the chance to eat, drink and be merry while they are still young; some others think that they should enjoy life in their youth, or else when they become old, they will never have this opportunity. So, they indulge in KTVs, internet cafes, bars, gambling houses, trips, and adventures. They believe that living like that is the most unconventional and happiest. Once I agreed on this opinion as well. I felt that only enjoying ourselves with abandon, spending freely, and indulging myself is not wasting my youth. However, when I truly wore designer clothes and ate the most luxury food, my material and appetite desires were satisfied, and even everyone looked at me with envy. After midnight, when I thought quietly, I found that these material things brought nothing for my spirit, and that they still left my spirit in emptiness and loneliness after the enjoyment. What’s more, when I traveled with my close friends, although we walked along side by side with arms entwined, our hearts were far away from each other as if they were separated by the thousands of mountains and water. After experiencing these, I understood somewhat: The fleshly enjoyment we pursue is not the true need in our spirits. Even though we own them, we still live in emptiness without the slightest meaning.
As if it were yesterday, I sighed with self-pity, “Oh, no! I’m pushing toward my 20s soon.” Later on, I still said in the same way, “Oh, gosh! I’m pushing toward my 30s soon.” Time makes me have a taste of the fleeting youth in advance. However, over those few years, luckily I have met God.
The word of God says: “In truth, out of the myriad things in God’s creation, man is the lowest. Though he is the master of all things, man is the only one among them that is subject to Satan’s trickery, the only one that falls prey in endless ways to its corruption. Man has never had sovereignty over himself. Most people live in the foul place of Satan, and suffer its derision; it teases them this way and that till they are half alive, enduring every vicissitude, every hardship in the human world. After toying with them, Satan puts an end to their destiny.” “Man’s corrupt disposition stems from his being poisoned and trampled upon by Satan, from the egregious harm that Satan has inflicted upon his thinking, morality, insight, and sense. It is precisely because these fundamental things of man have been corrupted by Satan, and are utterly unlike how God originally created them, that man opposes God and does not understand the truth.” After reading God’s word, I understood: The reason why we live in such emptiness and pain is that we are corrupted by Satan. Unconsciously, we regard these words “Seize the day for pleasure, for life is short,” “Man lives just to get food and clothing,” “Enjoy things while one can,” etc. as our mottoes. Then, we view the fleshly enjoyment as far more important than anything else: We pursue eating, drinking and pleasure-seeking, letting our flesh get the utmost indulgence and satisfaction. Thus we are increasingly reluctant to attend to our proper duties, and instead we feel that kind of life is valuable and meaningful. Under the influence of such evil trends, I was also addicted to them and started to indulge my flesh to my heart’s content, squandering my youth. However, when I enjoyed the material life and satisfied my desires, the emptiness and misery of my spirit couldn’t be filled with these material things. If we live according to these laws of life that Satan installs into us, then we will only waste our youth and live in the empty and painful situation.
I also saw God’s word saying: “Man, after all, is man. The position and life of God cannot be replaced by any man. Mankind does not just require a fair society in which everyone is well-fed and is equal and free, but the salvation of God and His provision of life to them. Only when man receives the salvation of God and His provision of life to them can the needs, yearning to explore, and spiritual emptiness of man be resolved.” “Only if one knows God and has the truth does he live in the light; and only when his view of the world and his view of life change does he change fundamentally. When he has a life goal and comports himself according to the truth; when he absolutely submits to God and lives by God’s word; when he feels assured and brightened deep in his soul; when his heart is free of darkness; and when he lives completely freely and unrestrained in God’s presence—only then does he live a true human life and become a person possessing truth. Besides, all the truths you have are from God’s word and from God Himself. The Ruler of the entire universe and all things—God Most High—approves of you, as a real man living the true human life. What could be more meaningful than God’s approval? Such is a person who has the truth.”
God’s words made me brightened: What we need is not a rich material life but the supply of life from God and the shepherding and watering of God’s words. Only by this, can our spirits receive supply and nourishment. Without God’s care and protection, we will live under the domain of Satan and will only feel empty and miserable, without any happiness to speak of. In this big world, since we can’t discern right and wrong, good and evil, and beauty and ugliness, we just drag out an ignoble existence without any goal or direction, as if a lonely boat were adrift on the sea without route or destination. After accepting God’s work, I came to know: We humans are created by God, and we should obey, worship and witness God to live. Only pursuing to know God and obtain God’s approval is the life goal that we should pursue.
Afterward, I often attended meetings, preached the gospel and fulfilled my duty with my brothers and sisters. I felt my life was very abundant and happy every day. The spiritual emptiness and trouble that I had felt in the past disappeared. In my real life, no matter what problems I met, when I prayed to God and relied on God, I would get God’s enlightenment and guidance. When I was bound and controlled by my corrupt disposition and couldn’t be relieved, as long as I came before God, prayed to God and sought the truth, God would enlighten me and lead the way forward, and make my sad heart become joyful. In experiencing God’s work, I truly felt: Only truth is what man’s spirit really needs; only living according to the truth is the correct path of life; only by living in this way can we obtain God’s approval and blessings.
Now, I can offer up my tiny effort for spreading God’s kingdom gospel, and fulfill my duty and responsibility as a creature. This is my special favor! Thank God for His mercy and grace, so that I can read God’s word in my youth and understand how to live a valuable and meaningful life.
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The Same Youth and the Different Ways of Life was last modified: May 25th, 2018 by Find the Shepherd
Child, Come Back Home tells high school student Li Xinguang who becomes lost in online games and loses himself. Through guidance of God’s words, He finally sees through the essence of online games, return to the house of God, and embark on the path of a life of light.