Knowledge Makes Me Miserable, the Truth Gives Me Happiness

By Zhao Jie

One day in May, I was riding on the road to the meeting. It was quite cool with lush leaves along the road blocking out rays of sunshine. I was enjoying the scenery when the school bell rang, which made me stop my riding. I looked up at the tall teaching building and imagined the scene where students in the classrooms were studying hard for the college entrance examination. Then I couldn’t help recalling my life of grade three of senior middle school. No, it should be “grade five of senior middle school” …

At that time, having heavy schoolwork, I was just like a snail with too heavy shell, crawling forward slowly. So many times, what teachers taught in class tired me, and knowledge in the textbook bored me, so I once thought about giving up. But every time I thought of my college dream which was just like a beautiful halo and kept waving to me, I gained inspiration to study desperately. However, the fact that I failed my second college entrance examination really upset me. Two failures in college entrance examination made me feel doomed to an inferior status among classmates. I didn’t want to face other classmates’ unusual eyes. I would exert myself for my dream. I didn’t want to live a mediocre life. I wanted my life to shine! Therefore, I decided to return to school to restudy again. I thought this was my only opportunity, and success or failure depended on this one action. I was not willing to resign myself to the fact that I always couldn’t catch up with others. So many times, I studied till late at night. So many times, I still insisted on completing my homework even if I was ill. So many times, I tried my best to memorize all kinds of knowledge…. However, I was just like a child who was forgotten by fortune. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get anything I wanted. The second failure in the examination announced my predestined ending of failure. This time, I completely lost hope. I had no choice but to see others step into colleges. What left me was only their receding figures. Because of this, so many times, I shed tears in dreams, I sighed deeply and I stood on the crossroads, feeling my future looked bleak and wondering what course to follow …

When I was caught in great pain and helplessness, a friend of mine spread God’s gospel to me, advised me to believe in God, and gave me a book of God’s words. The words in this book led me to go out from my worst period. I still remembered these words: “So 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 to both maintain and obtain fame and gain. In this way, Satan binds man with invisible shackles. These shackles are borne on people’s bodies, 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 becomes estranged from God and betrays Him. With each passing generation, mankind becomes more and more wicked, more and more darkened, and so in this way one generation after another is destroyed in the fame and gain of Satan” (God Himself, the Unique VI).

These words revealed my pain, hardships and helplessness inside my heart. It turned out that it was my own life goals “refusing mediocrity” and “ranking higher than others” that cast a mist before my eyes so that I couldn’t see the beautiful sky or feel happiness and joy of living. Aiming to realize my lovely college dream, to be admired by others and to stand out among ordinary people, I spared no effort to study tooth and nail and I wanted to develop my own career through my efforts. But to my disappointment, what I got was just failure in the college entrance exam and classmates’ cold shoulders. In order to realize my dream, I studied harder and harder but I felt more and more exhausted and painful and I became more self-abased. Due to this, I felt aggrieved, jealous and frustrated. I lost vigor that I should have as a youth, and instead, troubles, melancholy and unbearable spiritual pressure filled my heart. Actually the reason for my pain wasn’t that destiny didn’t care about me, but that I had chosen wrong life goals. I was unwilling to resign myself to mediocrity and determined to distinguish myself among others and wanted to get rid of the Creator’s orchestration and arrangement for me. These thoughts, just like shackles, bound me tightly. I lived for them so that I was burdened with so much pain. Then I thought of today’s youngsters. Whether in work or in study, they are all struggling for becoming preeminent and rising head and shoulders above others. Some are held up by illness due to excessive exhaustion, and more and more people died from excessive exhaustion or study. Some are suffering mental disorder because they can’t bear the shock of the failure, which announces the ending of their wonderful youth. Even some people committed suicide due to the unsatisfying reality and too much mental pressure … These are all painful results of our refusal of mediocrity. Then what is the most meaningful thing that we should pursue?

At this time, I couldn’t help thinking of Job, a character documented in the Bible. I remembered a passage in a book which a friend gave me: “Regardless of what Job experienced, his pursuits and goals in life were happy, not painful. He was happy not only because of the blessings or commendation bestowed on him by the Creator, but more importantly, because of his pursuits and life goals, because of the gradual knowledge and true understanding of the Creator’s sovereignty that he attained through fearing God and shunning evil, and moreover, because of the wondrous deeds of His that Job experienced personally during his time as a subject to the Creator’s sovereignty, and the warm and unforgettable experiences and memories of the coexistence, acquaintance, and mutual understanding between man and God; because of the comfort and happiness that came from knowing the Creator’s will; because of the reverence that arose after seeing that He is great, wondrous, lovable, and faithful” (God Himself, the Unique III).

Job was once in possession of great wealth, cattle and sheep all over the mountain and beautiful children. But two trials made him lose all and even he suffered sore boils all over body, being on the verge of death. He was turned into a mediocre man who had nothing from a rich man whom everyone admired. He was even ridiculed by his wife and friends. However, facing these trials, Job never planned to make efforts to regain what he had owned. He never tried to struggle in order to return to the group of wealthy people and be respected by others. Because he knew that everything was in God’s hands, just like what he said: “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). It was his knowledge of the Creator’s authority and his pure obedience to God’s sovereignty and arrangement that made him insist on walking the road of fearing God, and eschewing evil and still praise God in mediocrity, without caring about his own sufferings in flesh or soul. In addition, through this experience, he saw the Creator’s authority, sovereignty and wonderful deeds, finished the times of hearing of God by the hearing of the ear and became a man who knew the Creator, feared God and eschewed evil and was regarded as an upright man by God. He felt fulfilled for the rest of his life, without a twinge of regret and fear. So finally he spent his latter part of life peacefully.

Previously I thought that mediocre life would be predestinated to be ordinary and colorless. But from facts I know that the real dazzling life has nothing to do with your position, money, or the number of supporters and admirers. It depends on whether one can be regarded as treasure in God’s eyes, whether one can know the Creator’s authority and sovereignty through experiences of his whole life so that he can submit to the Creator’s dominion. Even if outwardly he has nothing, there is peace and relief in heart. Only such life can shine with great splendor.

Thinking of this, I smiled knowingly, looked away from the school, went on riding, and began my new life journey …

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Hey, I'm Mary. I’m pursuing to be a devout christian. May God bless us! May we all treat our life with God’s Words. Amen!