一生跟隨主.終生不回頭

陳彩玲

神學學士一年級

最美好的決定

         2006年,我和家人由中國大陸移民香港,機緣下參加了一個由教會舉辦的英語補習班,而每逢週四該教會也有聖經故事週,讓我有機會慢慢認識耶穌。在導師的帶領下,我相信了主耶穌,這是我一生中作過最美好的決定。自此以後,我尋回生命的希望和價值,對生命、對人都充滿熱情,並開始在團契認真追求信仰,又積極向身邊的親友傳福音。

立志:背十架跟從主

         準備升中那年(2008)的暑假,我參加一個教會舉辦的夏令營。由於對神話語的渴求和與弟兄姊妹相交的喜樂,我樂意每天一大早便由深水埗乘車,來到西澳的香港浸信會神學院聽道,晚上又乘車回家。一連四天,我重複這樣的行程,卻不覺疲倦,享受浸淫在神的話語之中。營會完結前,其中一篇講道引用經文馬太福音十六章24節:「若有人要跟從我,就當捨己,背起他的十字架來跟從我。」這節經文深深震撼我:原來作主門徒,必須捨己,並且背起十字架來跟從主。講道結束後,傳道人發出呼召:「有人願意為神委身去傳道和事奉嗎?」就在這刻,一份從來沒有過的感動驅使我站立起來,當時年少的我大聲回應說:「我願意!」旁邊的人都十分驚訝。

捨棄與追尋

         大專畢業之後,我在一家國際級的美容公司工作。上司和同事都十分喜歡我,使我在職場上感到莫大的滿足。這份工作讓我有機會接觸一些上流社會人士;和他們相處的過程中,我看盡人性的複雜和敗壞。我又看見同事每天埋頭苦幹,營營役役;我問他們辛勞工作的意義何在,卻未能獲得一個圓滿的答案。難道人一生只是為了賺取金錢而存在?我撫心自問,難道我的一生就要如此這般嗎?

         與此同時,教會新成立功課輔導班,極需要事奉人手;我內心掙扎要否回應教會的需要。我向神祈禱說,假如祂給我十分清晰的指示,我就會回應祂的呼召。只是教會一位導師挑戰我:人的信心需要配合相應的行動;除非我們願意為神擺上自己,否則永遠不能看見神在我們身上那種奇妙的帶領。於是,我下了決心,放下收入不錯的工作,承受家人的怪責和身邊人的目光,選擇一條沒太多人認同和明白的事奉之路,轉任教會福音幹事一職。

         與其說我為神擺上甚麼,倒不如說這一切都是神對我的賜福和恩典。我自問沒有約瑟的才能,沒有亞伯拉罕的信心,沒有雅各的堅持,也沒有但以理對神的敬畏,但神仍然願意呼召我、使用我。神給了我很多服侍祂的機會,讓我在教會擔當不同的崗位,累積更多事奉的經驗,學習如何以生命服侍生命。

勇敢走出去

         2020年7月,我參加浸聯會第三十九屆培靈會,主題為「陰霾下的曙光」。在講道最後的呼召環節,神再一次問我:「你願意全時間事奉嗎?你願意為我傳揚福音嗎?」我心裏十分感動,便起來回應神的呼召。只是我沒有想過這是一個全時間事奉的立志。撫心自問,全時間事奉我是願意的,但令我卻步的是讀書,畢竟過去我在學業上經歷過太多挫敗。因為害怕讀書,我一再打消讀神學的念頭。但神派了很多人在我身邊鼓勵我,支持我;他們提醒我要讀神學備自己,才能有更好的生命去服侍人,去見證主。加上靈修和讀屬靈書籍時,「若有人要跟從我,就當捨己,背起他的十字架來跟從我」這節經文再次出現,喚醒我當初站起來立志委身的心志,讓我勇敢作出讀神學的決定。

         或許,進入神學院是神要操練我克服自己的恐懼,讓我能夠準備好自己,成為祂手中更合用的器皿!感謝神,在茫茫人海中尋找我;祂揀選我,讓我能回應祂。願我能在複雜的世界裏保持對神單純的心,一生跟隨主,終生不回頭。  

The Best Decision

       In 2006, my family and I moved to Hong Kong from Mainland China. Then, by chance, I joined an English tutorial class organized by a church. The church also arranged a Bible Story Time every Thursday, which allowed me to get to know Jesus gradually. Under the guidance of my mentor in the church, I believed in Lord Jesus, which is the best decision I have ever made in my life. Since then, I have found hope and a new passion for life which has made me passionate about life and people. I began to pursue faith seriously in the fellowship and actively preached the gospel to my relatives and friends around me.

Determined to Take Up the Cross and Follow God

        During the summer holidays, before I became a secondary school student in 2008, I joined a summer camp run by a church. Out of a yearning for God’s Word and the joy of interacting with fellow believers, I was willing to take a trip early every day, from Sham Shui Po to the Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary in Sai O, just to listen to sermons and then I would return home. I repeated this pattern for four days without feeling tired. Instead, I enjoyed being immersed in God’s Word. Before the end of the camp, I was deeply shaken by a verse cited in one of the sermons: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mt 16:24). I realized that I had to deny myself and take up my cross and follow the Lord if I were to be His disciple. At the end of the sermon, the preacher called on us by asking, “Will you commit yourself to preaching and serving God?” At this moment, I was moved to stand up by an urge I had never felt. At my young age, I responded by shouting, “I will!” This took everyone around me by great surprise.

Let Go and Seek

        After graduating from a tertiary institute, I got a job at an international beauty parlor. I was well liked by my supervisors and colleagues, which gave me a great sense of achievement. At the same time, the job allowed me to have contact with people in the upper classes. By interacting with them, I witnessed the complexity and decay present in human nature. On the other hand, I witnessed my colleagues burying their heads in their work every day, all trapped in a rat race. I asked them what was the meaning behind such hard work but I got no satisfactory reply. Could it be said that people just exist for making money throughout their lives? I asked myself honestly, “Is my life going to be just like this?”

        Meanwhile, our church had set up a homework guidance class, which badly needed someone willing to serve. I struggled as to whether I should respond to this need of the church. I prayed to God that I would respond to His calling if He gave me very clear instructions. However, a mentor at church challenged me by saying, “When a person has faith, one needs to take corresponding actions. Unless we are willing to offer ourselves to God, we shall never see God’s wonderful guidance on us.” As a result, I made up my mind to let go of the well-paid job and put up with reproaches from the family and the way others looked at me. I chose to take up a path of serving God, which not many would agree to or understand. Thus, I took up a new job as an evangelical administrator in the church.

        Instead of saying what I had foregone for God, I would rather say everything was a blessing and grace from God. Frankly, I did not have Joseph’s abilities, Abraham’s faith, Jacob’s insistence, or Daniel’s awe of God, but God was still willing to call on me and use me. He had given me lots of chances to serve Him by putting me in different positions at church, hence accumulating experiences for learning to serve lives with my life.

Step Out with Courage

        In July 2020, I attended the 39th Spiritual Revival Meeting of the Baptist Convention of Hong Kong under the theme of “Light amidst the Darkness.” During the vocation time at the end of the sermon, God asked me again, “Are you willing to serve me full-time? Are you willing to preach the gospel for me?” I was deeply moved and stood up in response to His calling. I didn’t realize it then but this showed my determination to embark on full-time ministry. What still deterred me were thoughts about studying. After all, I had experienced too many frustrations in my previous education. The fear of studying made me give up the idea of receiving theological training again and again. Nevertheless, God sent lots of people to stand by me with encouragement and support. They reminded me that I must study theology to equip myself before I could have a better life and serve others and be a witness to God. Besides, during my devotion and spiritual reading, the verse “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” appeared again, refreshing my memory of the moment when I stood up to show my determination to commit to God. In this way, I made a brave decision to study theology at the seminary.

        Perhaps, God meant to train me to overcome my fear by calling me to enter the seminary so that I might get myself well-prepared to become a vessel that could be more useful to Him. Thank God! He sought me amidst the crowd. He chose me so I could respond to Him. May I keep my heart simple and pure to God in the complicated world and follow Him throughout my life without turning back.