Sep 20 2017
The strange thing is: the officer usually grabs every opportunity to berate junior soldiers, but probably because he understands that I am a very upright person who would not fool around and is very unlucky to meet with such a situation, thus he just stared at me for a few seconds and then said: “Have you lost your spoon? Quickly go look for it, think of ways to look for it, I will check again tomorrow.” He thus let this matter rest and walked away.
After the officer has left, all the people dispersed. Only a few brothers whom I am closer to surround me. “I think you should quickly escape by climbing the wall and buy a spoon from the shop just outside the camp”, a few brothers suggested.
“It cannot be done. If I do that, others would think I am escaping from being a soldier. I’ll have to accept the consequences.” I felt that this would not work out.
“Sigh, I know that you are not willing to steal other people’s things, but you don’t have to be so loud. Now, everyone knows that your spoon is missing. If this goes on, even if I want to borrow a spoon for you, it would be difficult”, another brother told me.
“Thank you for your kind intentions. However, I cannot go and steal from others no matter what. It’s better for me to come out with another solution quickly.” I clutched my head as I thought hard about how to resolve the issue.
“Ah, yes, let us look for the pastor in the army for help.” I thought of this way, and then I quickly went to the church that was set up by the army.
“Pastor, sorry to trouble you, I want to consult you regarding something: Tomorrow, our troop will be conducting a force preparation on personal equipment. However, I lost my spoon. Is it okay if I borrow a spoon from you for the force preparation? I will return it to you once it ends.”
“No way! If I loan it to you, what can I eat my meals with?”
“It’s not like that, I will return it to you after the force preparation tomorrow morning, it shouldn’t hinder you much.”
“No. Losing the spoon is your responsibility, why do you come to trouble me?”
“Please! I have no other ways! It’s not as though I could just go out of camp to get a new one, this will be violating the laws of the army resulting in me becoming a deserter, also I don’t want to steal from others, it will be spinning and I don’t want that. I can only depend on you, pastor. I will not lie or play punk with you, I promise to return it to you right after the force preparation.”
“No. You should have looked after your belongings well. Now that you have lost your things, you have to be responsible for it.”
No matter how I pleaded, the pastor stands firm on his decision and completely rejected me. Even when I asked if the pastor could help me to ask those who come to church to pray for help, the pastor also refuses to help me. Falling short of my expectation, the pastor rejected me.
Like a deflated balloon, I walked out of the church and thought: “Why? How can someone who believes in God be so heartless? He is a high ranking officer. It is not difficult for him to even go into the kitchen and ask for a few spoons. I also said that I will definitely return the spoon to him immediately after the inspection, so why does he reject me until the end, and is not willing to help even a little? This is so disappointing! If I were to become a head leader in the future, I will definitely, definitely not be like him! Sigh. Luckily I have just dropped a spoon, let me just take it that I have lost the smallest item. If they want to punish me, then let them punish. I will be more careful in the future.”
Going back to the bunk room, the other brothers were already asleep in bed, so I climbed onto my bed. I was so depressed that I laid down to pray, complaining to God for a long time, and then fell asleep unknowingly.
The next morning, I felt a strange pain in my chest when I woke up.
“What’s the matter? I should not feel such pain even if I lie face down to sleep. Could it be a tumour is growing inside of me?” I felt so worried as I touched my chest.
Just as I was making wild guesses, and getting worried whether I have some kind of illness, I suddenly felt something hard and was so surprised: “Oh no, what is this thing?” It felt as if there is something in my pocket, something that is pressing on my chest the entire night, making it so painful. I dug my pocket and took out an item.
I suddenly remembered: Because I had the feeling that the officer might want to inspect the personal items anytime and I was afraid that my spoon might get stolen if I were to put it in the cupboard, I put my spoon into the breast pocket to store it well. At that time, I felt that I will not lose things, and became proud of myself. However, because it is not my usual habit, I forgot about it completely after a short while and it led to this messed up situation of losing the spoon. I, who goes through the inspection safely, let out a sigh of relief and thought about how I could have landed myself in such an absurd situation. It also feels like it is a test that God has put me through – to determine if I when put in a difficult situation, would follow the majority and use various methods to let myself not get punished? Or would I guard my integrity?
Ultimately, I passed the test given by God, so God allowed me to find my spoon before the inspection and this situation turned out to be a happy ending. Years later, I am no longer young now. But, I still tell this story to young people following me from all over the world and say to them: “I have ultimately passed God’s test. You all too, no matter what happens, you must make God and God’s thoughts as the utmost priority. Only then will God also make you all the utmost priority and thus render help accordingly.”