(Clearwisdom.net) There was a poignant story that happened during the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia last year. Prior to the arrival of the tsunami, the seawater on the beach temporarily retreated a great deal. A lot of beautiful shells were left on the sand after the water had retreated, and many tourists ran over to pick up those shells. The colors of the clouds between the sky and the sea turned very lovely. People stood on the beach, appreciating the scene.

At that time, a local resident who was aware of the danger shouted, "Danger, run way fast!" This scene emerged very unexpectedly and the shouting was also out of the blue. Thus, no one on the beach believed him at that time. They were very annoyed by him and drove him away. Then, as soon as the local resident left, the massive waves struck.

The Bible describes the time of the great flood. When the flood was coming, those prophets told people again and again: "A big flood is coming, a big flood is coming!" However, few believed them, but those who did believe were saved.

This is not a question of whether or not someone believes the warning, but whether they are responsible for their own lives. One must take responsibility for his or her own life, and choose one's own future.

There have been many lessons like this over the course of history. People are accustomed to predicting what will happen in the future based on their own life experiences. However, many important things that occurr in human society are beyond people's imagination. For instance, the Cultural Revolution, the Tangshan earthquake, the collapse of the communist Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the outbreak of SARS, the tsunami in South Asia were all unexpected by many people before they actually happened.

For many important matters, it is inevitable that different people have different opinions. A true heavenly secret is not allowed to be told to people beforehand. But often, the secret is given through hints or omens. Human beings all have the choice to determine their own course of action. When the evil wants to destroy people, it often binds them to it, such as the "Advancement Preservation" [1] movement. Even those who are sick and bedridden are being sent back to political meetings for renewing the pledge (i.e., re-swearing an oath that one is willing to dedicate one's life for communism). On the contrary, there is a big difference when someone is offered true salvation: no one can save you if your heart is unchanged. So that's why upright beliefs advise people to be good. They give reasons and rationales so that people can make their own choices and give them the opportunity to take responsibility. This is the only way that people can find out what they want to be in the future and determine their own path.

[1] The "Advancement Preservation" movement is a current movement within the Chinese Communist Party with the purpose of promoting "advancement" of the Party. The activities include political study meetings and re-swearing the oath to dedicate one's life for communism.