I experienced this when riding a shuttle bus. I got on the bus by following the attendant’s instructions. There were already many people on the bus. Not only did I have to stand while on the bus, it was a struggle going from the stairs to the aisle. The driver turned his head inside and shouted, “If you’re standing in the aisle, please go further in!” It was already filled with people, so there was no room to move. The driver said to me, “It’s dangerous if you fall down the stairs, so push yourself in. It’ll be a little better inside.” Then he started driving.
I went further in while shouting, “Excuse me!” The more I went in, the more space there was. When I got to the middle of the bus, I was confused. The passageway was empty at the middle. A lot more people could have gone in the bus if people filled the spaces from the inside of the aisle. It was unfortunate people had to stand uncomfortably at the front, not knowing the back of the aisle was empty.
We learned ‘The Picture of God’s Will’ through Berea Academy. ‘The Picture of God’s Will’ refers to seeing God’s will in a picture. The point of seeing something in a picture is to see it in one glance. To see a forest at a glance, you need to look down at it like an eagle. Likewise, to see God’s will at a glance, you must view it from God’s point of view. Knowing the Picture of God’s Will does not mean just acquiring a set of knowledge. How can you say you know the Picture of God’s Will if you don’t think of God’s acts from His point of view?
When God’s will is fulfilled, it is referred to as ‘righteousness’, as Semuon stresses in the Original Lectures of Berea. Anyone who knows the Picture of God’s Will lives to seek His righteousness. Concerning righteousness: there is an individual’s righteousness, an organization’s righteousness, a society’s righteousness, and a nation’s righteousness. Living to seek individual righteousness benefits an individual, but living to seek national righteousness benefits the entire nation. Patriots like Ahn Jung-geun are revered as righteous men of the nation.
To seek the nation’s righteousness, a person must have an eye to perceive the entire nation’s affairs. He must go beyond ordinary people’s limits, who judge things based on what they see and hear. He should be able to anticipate the flow of the nation’s history, how the world’s affairs are progressing, and how the future will unfold. Yet even with such insight, it is meaningless if the individual does not have the will and ability to sacrifice himself in seeking the nation’s righteousness. The person who seeks a higher cause must be able to transcend his and his family’s interests.
People are increasingly used to self-centered lives. The Bible says that in the Last Days, people will be busy in loving themselves. We are now at the present state where we cannot find anyone who seeks righteousness on a bus with even a few dozen people. How can we take up God’s righteousness, which is greater than the nation’s and mankind’s righteousness? Can we really say we live lives of faith which seek God’s righteousness?
We learned the Picture of God’s Will. We have pride in the fact we know the Picture of God’s Will. If this is so, we should go beyond the narrow view of ‘me’, which we put ahead of everything. We should lay down the ‘me’ for the greater cause. It is wrong to think of the Lord’s work as self-fulfillment. John the Baptist warns us: “He must become greater; I must become less.”
Pastor Ki-Taek Lee
The Director of Sungrak Mission Center