What should you pursue along your path today?
As what kind of person should you see yourself?
Get to know how you should handle what comes your way,
be it trials, hardships, chastisement or cursing.
Faced with these things, reflect on each one.
All that befall you are brief trials.
Maybe they barely burden your spirit,
so you let them drift and don’t realize
they’re a precious part of your progress.
How thoughtless you are!
You see this dear thing like a floating cloud;
you don’t treasure these blows raining down.
They seem to you to be of little weight;
you dismiss them and don’t take them to heart.
You treat them like they are just bad luck.
How arrogant you are!
Instead of seeing these repeated blows
as the very best protection,
you see them as senseless trouble-making
or punishment from Heaven.
How ignorant you are!
You confine the good times in the darkness;
you see wonderful trials and discipline
as enemy’s attacks.
You don’t know how to adapt to your place,
and you are even less willing to try.
You are unwilling to gain anything
from what you see as cruel chastisement
that keeps happening over and over.
You don’t attempt to search or explore;
resigned to your fate, you go where it leads.
What seem to you like savage chastenings
have not changed or taken over your heart;
they stab you in the heart instead.
You see this “cruel chastisement”
only as your enemy.
You have gained nothing.
How self-righteous you are!
You rarely believe that you suffer trials
because you’re so contemptible;
you think you’re unlucky and God nitpicks.
But at this point how much do you know
about what God says and what God does?
Don’t think you’re a natural prodigy,
just below heaven and way above earth.
You’re far from smarter than everyone else.
It’s adorable how silly you are
compared with those who have reason.
You think too highly of yourself,
you’ve never felt less than,
as if you can see through God’s actions
down to the smallest detail.
How unreasonable you are!
You have no idea of what God intends,
and you have even less awareness
of what He’s doing now.
So God says that you are lower than
an old farmer who’s working the land,
who has no idea about human life,
yet puts all his faith on Heaven’s blessings
as he’s cultivating the land.
You don’t spare a second’s thought to your life,
you don’t know renown and don’t know yourself.
You are so “above it all”!
Adapted from “Those Who Do Not Learn and Remain Ignorant: Are They Not Beasts?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh