How are we supposed to free ourselves from the spiritual emptiness and the degenerate life and find a genuine life? I was so lost and befuddled before, but now I’ve found the answer.
Spiritual Awakening: The “Subway” Is Heading Toward Spring
By Yang Jing
On the subway, Xiaoran sat on her seat with a pensive and gloomy air, looking out of the window from time to time. She felt that her recent life and mood were gloomy like the tunnel. She reflected on her experience of the job interview from the beginning: Before the interview, she meant to ask for some interview techniques from her husband, who was an old hand at this sort of thing. But then she realized that most of those so-called techniques were actually tricks of teaching people to cheat others, and that as a Christian, she should not do that, fortaught us: “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). So she decided to practice God’s words—to speak honestly and not to cheat others. She thought that whether she would pass the interview was in God’s hands, and that if she failed, there must be God’s will in it.
Meditating on God’s words, she went to the interview. Facing many technical questions asked by the interviewers, she frankly answered them according to the real situations, even though she was aware that she was not the best one among the applicants. The interview was going very well, and when she felt that it was about to end successfully, an interviewer smiled and said, “We want to know one more thing: Why did you quit your job in the hospital?” Hearing the question, she was a little nervous because she knew that the interviewer intended to judge by her answer whether she had a bad record in her former workplace. After a short pause, she replied, “I’m getting old, and no longer want to do night duty. Besides … there’s more and more contradiction between doctors and patients now. It’s not easy to be a doctor. …” She, who had performed calmly, suddenly appeared to be hesitating, which made the two interviewers surprised. They exchanged suspicious looks, and asked her no more questions.
The announcement of the stop interrupted Xiaoran’s thoughts. She fretfully leaned back on her seat, and then couldn’t help recalling the incident happened several months ago….
On that night, Xiaoran was on duty in the hospital. After changing medicine for a serious patient, she returned to her office. It was 10:30 p.m. at that time. She had to finish a dozen progress notes of the patients, so she hurried to sit down in front of the computer. Around 11:30 p.m., a nurse phoned her and said, “The patient you have just changed the medicine for has a severe headache. He asks to change the ward or move out of the private ward.” Hearing her words, Xiaoran judged from experience that severe headache was the symptom of a patient in the acute stage of cerebral infarction, and that if he moved out of the private ward, he would be easily infected. For his safety, she refused his request. However, unexpectedly, when she finished the work in hand and went to see the patient, she found that the patient was in a state of clouded consciousness. After examination, it turned out that the patient’s condition had changed suddenly and he got a cerebral hemorrhage. Later, he died despite emergency treatment.
After that, the patient’s family demanded compensation from the hospital for Xiaoran’s missing the best time of treatment. Then the several cerebral specialists in the hospital studied and concluded that, based on the patient’s condition, Xiaoran could not delay the progress of disease for him or prevent him from dying even if she arrived on the spot earlier, for the sudden cerebral hemorrhage occurring based on former condition was beyond man’s control and rescue. Though it was the truth, Xiaoran still felt that it was her fault that she hadn’t arrived there immediately. For this, she felt self-blame.
Later, through negotiation, the incident ended after the hospital returned the hospitalization deposits of 30,000 yuan to the patient’s family. Not long after that, the personnel department of the hospital informed Xiaoran that her contract expired. Having experienced the incident, Xiaoran felt that she was tired with working under high pressure there and that she needed a change of scene. So her contract was not renewed.
Then Xiaoran’s thoughts drifted back to the interview again. Never had she thought that the interviewer would suddenly ask her the reason why she resigned when the interview was about to end; nor had she ever expected that she could hide the fact.
The subway train was proceeding rapidly. She stared at her reflection in the window, regret and remorse filling her heart. Suddenly she thought of God’s words: “Why do people engage in such deceit? To achieve their own aims, and to achieve the objectives they desire. And so they adopt certain methods, which shows that they are not upstanding, and that they are not honest. At such times, people’s insidiousness and cunning is revealed, or else their maliciousness and ignobility. With these things, you feel that it is especially hard to be honest; without them, you would feel that being honest is easy”.
God’s words woke up her. She pondered that the reason why she did not tell the interviewers the truth was that she worried about her personal gains and losses. She feared that the dishonorable experience of her neglect of duty might affect the result of the interview and jeopardize her future career, so she evaded the fact subconsciously. At this thought, she felt pain in her heart. She had been eagerly wishing to be an honest person, yet it had never occurred to her that when her interests might be jeopardized, she couldn’t help covering up the truth by telling lies. She naturally revealed her crafty nature, something that was deeply planted in the bones of every person through Satan’s corruption. She had thought of herself as a very honest person before, yet actually it was an illusion. Only then did she realize that she was far away from being an honest person. She felt that she was too much in need of God’s salvation and of judgment and purification of His words.
After she got home, she read some words of God about being an honest person, and one passage said: “Against a certain background or in a certain environment, you felt it was wise, or that there was a good reason to do so, or that you had ample reasons to do so, and ultimately acted, after which you felt you were fully justified in doing so, and had nothing to be remorseful of. When evening came and you reflected upon what you did, or else one day when you gained enlightenment or were reproached, you then felt that the reason for saying those words at that time was not a reason, and that you should have behaved in another way. How should you practice at such times? For example, you did something to someone, you cheated them, or you spoke words that were either inaccurate or contained your own motivations, and so you should go and find that person to dissect what you did, and say: ‘The words I said at that time contained my personal motivations. If you can accept my apology, please forgive me.’ Thus you dissect yourself, and lay yourself bare”.
God’s words made Xiaoran feel relaxed and understand His will: To be an honest person, I should first resolve my intentions and ulterior motives when I speak and do things. Once I realize I have wrong intentions, I should not be anxious to speak or act, but should try to find out the root cause of my wrong intentions. And then I shall seek God’s will and requirements and what God thinks in this matter, and seek how I shall pray to Him for His help so that I can rebel against the wrong intentions and strive to reach the standard of being an honest person under His guidance. I believe if I continually practice like this, I will make ever greater progress in being an honest person…. Thinking about this, Xiaoran made a decision in her heart silently….
Several days later, Xiaoran attended a second interview. She stated to the two interviewers the reason why she quitted her former job and her true thoughts about it, which greatly surprised the interviewers and another doctor who was waiting to be interviewed. They could not imagine that in this society where everyone lived with a mask and everyone took advantage of any situation to benefit himself, there still existed such a person who could voluntarily admit that she was lying and reveal her dishonorable side. After they showed their surprise, Xiaoran noticed a sort of admiration from their expressions. At that moment, Xiao Ran felt that a big rock was removed from her heart, and she had a strongest feeling: It’s so good to practice being an honest person according to God’s requirements. To her surprise, she, though with mediocre qualifications, was hired by the company afterward, and her salary was higher than her expectation.
On the subway back home, Xiaoran reflected on her recent experiences, and she thought of the words of Jesus Christ: “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, which built his house on a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell not: for it was founded on a rock” (Matthew 7:24-25). Xiaoran told herself inwardly: From now on, I will consistently practice God’s words. I believe that God will guide me to see more of His wonderful deeds and to know His faithfulness and loveliness. When I gradually obtain the truth as life, won’t it be like building the house on a rock? Having understood God’s will, Xiaoran smiled. The train was rapidly moving to the direction of her house, and she felt that her gloomy life was heading toward the bright and beautiful spring.
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