The Charms of Rice Flowers – Inspiration for Life
By Liang Hui
One weekend morning, while tidying up my child’s desk, I was attracted by a little story in a magazine about rice flowers, the lotuses in full bloom in a pond, and an old willow tree. The lotuses in the pond looked down on rice flowers because the rice flowers didn’t have petals, they were hidden in the leaves, and they were not as beautiful as them. However, the old willow tree thought the rice flowers, despite lack of a magnificent appearance, were beautiful because they produced the seeds in obscurity.
Photo by Nandukambalapally – CC BY-SA 4.0
This little story touched my heart deeply. At the mention of rice flowers, some people might feel surprised: What are rice flowers? Does the rice plant also have flowers? Few people have noticed the small white flowers hidden in the green leaves of rice plants. Although these small flowers don’t have conspicuous petals like lotuses, they dedicate their lives to producing the seeds without attracting any attention. Compared to those vain, showy flowers which can only be a temporary feast for our eyes, are the rice flowers not worthier of our admiration?
In fact, the charms of rice flowers are manifested not only in that they do not vie with other flowers to display their beauty, but in that they never complain about the injustice of their fate for being ordinary and insignificant. They know deeply that they exist not to show off their own beauty, but to produce plump fruits for people to enjoy. In front of these small rice flowers, I can’t help but feel humiliated. By contrast, we humans are often complaining. We complain of our unaffluent families of birth, ordinary appearances, unsuccessful careers, unremarkable children, etc. In short, everything in our eyes seems not how we would like it to be. I can’t help but think: Why can we not live contentedly like rice flowers? Why are our lives full of complaints?
Later, I saw the following words in a spiritual book: “God maintains the environment in which people live and He provides all of the things this mankind needs. Furthermore, He manages and holds dominion over all things. All of this allows mankind to live normally and thrive normally; it is in this way that God provides for all things and for mankind.” “People live amid blessings but don’t know how blessed they are. If My blessings toward mankind had not existed unto today, who among mankind would have made it to the present and not perished? That man lives is My blessing, and it means he lives amid My blessings, because he originally had nothing, because he was originally without the capital to live between heaven and earth; today I continue to help man, and only because of this does man stand before Me, lucky enough to escape death. People have summed up the secrets of man’s existence, but no one has ever perceived that this is My blessing. As a result, all people curse the injustice within the world, they all complain about Me because of the unhappiness in their lives. If not for My blessings, who would have seen today?” From these words, I came to understand that we are in actuality living on the earth created by God, that the environment for our survival is maintained by God, and that all of the things we need come from the’s selfless supply and blessings. However, our hearts and eyes are occupied with those privileged and affluent lives and attracted by gorgeous and splendid people and things. We have no inclination to seek God’s will as well as the value and meaning of our creation. Our ignorance and numbness have prevented our hearts from being satisfied and grateful, so that we are always complaining about our fates and lives.
Then, I read these words from the book: “A genuine created being must know who the Creator is, what man’s creation is for, how to carry out the responsibilities of a created being, and how to worship the Lord of all creation, must understand, grasp, know, and care for the Creator’s intentions, wishes, and demands….” These words allowed me to see that we, as tiny created beings, should know our creation is meaningful, and find our places and perform our duties well. The rice flowers feel content with being able to produce fruits for mankind, and consider that it is the greatest honor to submit to the Creator’s sovereignty and fulfill their mission as creatures. What they focus on is how to adhere to their responsibilities. They uncomplainingly and selflessly produce fruits in the environment ordained by God and silently perform their function. As creatures, we should also come before God and seek the meaning and value of our creation and pay attention to fulfilling our duties and missions. Only in this way will we no longer complain about the injustices of our fates, or make pointless sacrifices for satisfying our temporary desires. At that time, we will feel content and proud and have genuine charms, just like the rice flowers.