You are all adults. Some of you are middle-aged; some have entered old age. From a non-believer to a believer, and from the beginning of believing in God to acceptingand experiencing God’s work, how much knowledge did you have of ? What insights did you gain into human fate? Can one achieve everything one desires in life? How many things over the few decades of your existence have you been able to accomplish as you wished? How many things do not happen as expected? How many things come as pleasant surprises? How many things are people still waiting to bear fruit—unconsciously awaiting the right moment, awaiting the will of Heaven? How many things make people feel helpless and thwarted? Everyone is full of hopes about their fate, and anticipates that everything in their life will go as they wish, that they will not want for food or clothing, that their fortunes will rise spectacularly. Nobody wants a life that is poor and downtrodden, full of hardships, beset by calamities. But people cannot foresee or control these things. Perhaps for some, the past is just a jumble of experiences; they never learn what the will of Heaven is, nor do they care what it is. They live out their lives unthinkingly, like animals, living day by day, not caring about what the fate of humanity is, about why humans are alive or how they ought to live. These people reach old age having gained no understanding of human fate, and till the moment they die they have no idea what life is about. Such people are dead; they are beings without spirit; they are beasts. Although living among all things, people derive enjoyment from the many ways in which the world satisfies their material needs, though they see this material world constantly advancing, their own experience—what their hearts and their spirits feel and experience—has nothing to do with material things, and nothing material is a substitute for it. It is a recognition deep in one’s heart, something that cannot be seen with the naked eye. This recognition lies in one’s understanding of, and one’s feeling of, human life and human fate. And it often leads one to the apprehension that an unseen Master is arranging all things, orchestrating everything for man. In the midst of all this, one cannot but accept fate’s arrangements and orchestrations; at the same time, one cannot but accept the path ahead that the Creator has laid out, the Creator’s sovereignty over one’s fate. This is an undisputed fact. No matter what insight and attitude one holds about fate, no one can change this fact.
Where you will go every day, what you will do, who or what you will encounter, what you will say, what will happen to you—can any of this be predicted? People cannot foresee all these occurrences, much less control how they develop. In life, these unforeseeable events happen all the time, and they are an everyday occurrence. These daily vicissitudes and the ways they unfold, or the patterns by which they play out, are constant reminders to humanity that nothing happens at random, that the course of development these things take, and their inevitability, cannot be shifted by human will. Every happening conveys an admonition from the Creator to mankind, and it also sends the message that human beings cannot control their own fates; at the same time every event is a rebuttal to humanity’s wild, futile ambition and desire to take its fate into its own hands. They are like powerful slaps about humanity’s ears one after another, forcing people to reconsider who, in the end, governs and controls their fate. And as their ambitions and desires are repeatedly thwarted and shattered, humans naturally arrive at an unconscious acceptance of what fate has in store, an acceptance of reality, of the will of Heaven and the Creator’s sovereignty. From these daily vicissitudes to the fates of entire human lives, there is nothing that does not reveal the Creator’s plans and His sovereignty; there is nothing that does not send the message that “the Creator’s authority cannot be exceeded,” that does not convey the eternal truth that “the Creator’s authority is supreme.”
The fates of humanity and of the universe are intimately entwined with the Creator’s sovereignty, inseparably tied to the Creator’s orchestrations; in the end, they cannot be teased apart from the Creator’s authority. Through the laws of all things man comes to understand the Creator’s orchestration and His sovereignty; through the rules of survival he perceives the Creator’s governance; from the fates of all things he draws conclusions about the ways the Creator exercises His sovereignty and control over them; and in the life cycles of human beings and all things man truly experiences the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements for all things and living beings and truly witnesses how those orchestrations and arrangements supersede all earthly laws, rules, and institutions, all other powers and forces. In light of this, humanity is compelled to recognize that the Creator’s sovereignty cannot be violated by any created being, that no force can meddle with or alter the events and things predestined by the Creator. It is under these divine laws and rules that humans and all things live and propagate, generation after generation. Is this not the true embodiment of the Creator’s authority? Though man sees, in the objective laws, thsoe Creator’s sovereignty and His ordination for all events and all things, how many people are able to grasp the principle of the Creator’s sovereignty over the universe? How many people can truly know, recognize, accept, and submit to the Creator’s sovereignty and arrangement over their own fate? Who, having believed the fact of the Creator’s sovereignty over all things, will truly believe and recognize that the Creator also dictates the fate of a human life? Who can truly comprehend the fact that man’s fate rests in the Creator’s palm? What sort of attitude humanity should take toward the Creator’s sovereignty, when confronted with the fact that He governs and controls the fate of humanity, is a decision that every human being who is now confronted with this fact must make for himself.
from The Word Appears in the Flesh
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