Daily Words of God | "God Himself, the Unique III" | Excerpt 126
Progeny: The Fifth Juncture
After marrying, one begins to nurture the next generation. One has no say in how many and what kind of children one has; this too is determined by a person’s fate, predestined by the Creator. This is the fifth juncture through which a person must pass.
If one is born in order to fill the role of another’s child, then one rears the next generation in order to fill the role of another’s parent. This shift of roles makes one experience different phases of life from different perspectives. It also gives one different sets of life experiences, in which one comes to know the same sovereignty of the Creator, as well as the fact that no one can overstep or alter the predestination of the Creator.
1. One Has No Control Over What Becomes of One’s Offspring
Birth, growing up, and marriage all deliver various kinds and different degrees of disappointment. Some people are dissatisfied with their families or their physical appearances; some dislike their parents; some resent or have many bones to pick with the environment in which they grew up. And for most people, among all these disappointments marriage is the most dissatisfactory. Regardless how dissatisfied one is with one’s birth, one’s growing up, or one’s marriage, everyone who has gone through them knows that one cannot choose where and when one was born, what one looks like, who one’s parents are, and who one’s spouse is, but must simply accept the will of Heaven. But when it comes time for people to raise the next generation, they will project all their unrealized desires in the first half of their lives onto their descendants, hoping that their offspring will make up for all the disappointments they experienced in the first half of their lives. So people indulge in all kinds of fantasies about their children: that their daughters will grow up to be stunning beauties, their sons dashing gentlemen; that their daughters will be cultured and talented and their sons brilliant students and star athletes; that their daughters will be gentle, virtuous, and sensible, their sons intelligent, capable, and sensitive. They hope that be it daughters or sons, they will respect their elders, be considerate of their parents, be loved and praised by everyone…. At this point hopes for life spring afresh, and new passions are kindled in people’s hearts. People know that they are powerless and hopeless in this life, that they will not have another chance, another hope, to stand out from others, and that they have no choice but to accept their fates. And so they project all their hopes, their unrealized desires and ideals, onto the next generation, hoping that their offspring can help them achieve their dreams and realize their desires; that their daughters and sons will bring glory to the family name, become important, rich, or famous; in short, they want to see their children’s fortunes soar. People’s plans and fantasies are perfect; do they not know that the number of children they have, their children’s appearance, abilities, and so forth, are not for them to decide, that their children’s fates do not at all rest in their palms? Humans are not the masters of their own fate, yet they hope to change the fates of the younger generation; they are powerless to escape their own fates, yet they try to control those of their sons and daughters. Are they not overestimating themselves? Is this not human foolishness and ignorance? People go to any length for the sake of their offspring, but in the end, how many children one has, and what one’s children are like, do not answer to their plans and desires. Some people are penniless but beget many children; some people are wealthy yet have no child. Some want a daughter but are denied that wish; some want a son but fail to produce a male child. For some, children are a blessing; for others, they are a curse. Some couples are bright, yet give birth to slow-witted children; some parents are industrious and honest, yet the children they raise are indolent. Some parents are kind and upright but have children who turn out to be crafty and vicious. Some parents are sound in mind and body but give birth to handicapped children. Some parents are ordinary and unsuccessful yet have children who achieve great things. Some parents are of low status yet have children who rise to eminence. …
2. After Raising the Next Generation, People Gain a New Understanding of Fate
Most people who marry do so around age thirty, and at this point in life one does not have any understanding of human destiny. But when people begin to raise children, as their offspring grow, they watch the new generation repeat the life and all the experiences of the previous generation, and they see their own pasts reflected in them and realize that the road walked by the younger generation, just like theirs, cannot be planned and chosen. Faced with this fact, they have no choice but to admit that every person’s fate is predestined; and without quite realizing it they gradually lay aside their own desires, and the passions in their hearts gutter and die out…. During this period of time, one has for the most part passed the important milestones in life and has achieved a new understanding of life, adopted a new attitude. How much can a person of this age expect from the future and what prospects do they have? What fifty-year-old woman is still dreaming of Prince Charming? What fifty-year-old man is still looking for his Snow White? What middle-aged woman is still hoping to turn from an ugly duckling into a swan? Do most older men have the same career drive as young men? In sum, regardless of whether one is a man or a woman, anyone who lives to this age is likely to have a relatively rational, practical attitude toward marriage, family, and children. Such a person has essentially no choices left, no urge to challenge fate. As far as human experience goes, as soon as one reaches this age one naturally develops an attitude that “One must accept fate; one’s children have their own fortunes; human fate is ordained by Heaven.” Most people who do not understand the truth, after having weathered all the vicissitudes, frustrations, and hardships of this world, will summarize their insights into human life with two words: “That’s fate!” Though this phrase encapsulates the worldly people’s conclusion and realization about human fate, though it expresses humanity’s helplessness and could be said to be penetrating and accurate, it is a far cry from an understanding of the Creator’s sovereignty, and is simply no substitute for a knowledge of the Creator’s authority.