(Minghui.org) I woke up at 3:20 a.m. on Sunday morning, an hour before my usual wake-up time to do the Falun Dafa exercises. I thought, “Should I get up and do the exercises now?” On second thought, “Let me get up at 4:30 a.m.” I went back to sleep. Then, I had a dream.

In the dream, I was exiting a subway station, which had a wide tunnel in front of me. I saw fellow practitioner Wen (alias) coming from the side, and called her name. We both seemed to know where we were going. At that moment, the ground beneath us began to flash, appearing to warn us. Wen said, “We must run. Many obstacles will soon arise. We must make it to the finish line before it turns red.” 

As we spoke, a row of fence grew out of the ground, blocking the tunnel in front of us. The fence was less than knee-high, and I was thinking I could cross over it easily. But, when I started to get over it, I found it was harder than crossing a normal fence. I suddenly realized the seriousness of the matter, knowing that more fences would grow, and more obstacles would appear.

Wen pulled me, indicating to run with her as fast as we could, while more rows of fences were arising behind us. As we ran we saw the end of the tunnel, which was a wide coastline. Two flickering beams of light were at the finish line, and a man in a white T-shirt was standing there. I supposed he was the referee.

At about 100 yards from the finish line, lights were flashing, and an alarm was coming up from the ground between our feet and the finish line, indicating that obstacles could arise from the ground at any time. The two beams of white light at the finish line could turn red within a short time, in which case we could not cross the finish line.

At this time, my legs suddenly became heavy and every step became difficult as if there were 1,000 pounds of materials tied to my legs, pulling them down. At the same time, I was veering off from the center more and more until a wall appeared next to me. I used the force of my hands to crawl along the wall toward the finish line. I had no time to think of anything else, because the ground beneath my feet kept flashing alarms.

Crawling and rolling, I finally reached the finish line. When my upper body crossed the line, it hadn’t turned red yet, Phew! I was lying on the ground, exhausted. I looked around and saw Wen had already crossed the line. She and the referee were looking at me, waiting for me to get up instead of lying on the finish line. But, I had no strength left in my body. Then, I woke up.

I understood that the dream was a reflection of what happened during the day. I had an upset stomach on Saturday morning, which lingered for a long time. It gradually went away as I constantly recited, “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!” By the time I finished sending forth righteous thoughts at noon, my stomach was fine and I was ready to go out and join the group exercises, but I thought, “I’ve suffered a lot today; let me take a nap.” 

That afternoon I ran into Wen, the coordinator of our practice site, and explained to her why I missed the morning practice. Wen said, “You might consider making it up some time today.” I acknowledged what she said, but I actually thought, “I have been participating in morning practice every day for a few months now; it shouldn’t be a problem skipping one day.”

After finishing the group study and experience sharing in the evening, I thought, “It’s Saturday. I should take a break before returning to work tomorrow.” I bought two bags of chips and headed for a walk to the park. In the distance, I saw Wen doing the second exercise in the park, yet it was after 10:00 p.m. I thought to myself, “Did she also miss the morning practice? How come she is doing the second exercise at this hour?”

I strolled around a small garden before I suddenly realized: I didn’t do the exercises today as Wen suggested. Letting me run into her now, isn’t Master hinting that I should not miss doing the exercises? I hurriedly joined Wen. After finishing the exercises, I realized Wen did the second exercise for two hours, whereas I did the second exercise for half an hour. 

Reflecting on my dream the next morning and on my slacking off the day before, I realized that the closer to the end, the more critical it is. Wen remained diligent and became even more diligent in the end, so she could easily sprint to the finish line. Whereas I slacked off and found my last leg of the journey harder and harder, so hard that whether or not I could make it to the finish line on time was uncertain. 

Then why did I slack off? I looked inward and found complacency. I thought I was accomplishing a great deal by getting up early to join the morning practice for several months in a row. I found an attachment to ease and comfort because I always wanted to take a break, unwind, and relax once in a while like an everyday person. I also found an attachment to food. Before I began to cultivate, I was fond of snacking, and I hadn’t seriously tried to remove it as an attachment. Additionally, my mind tended to slip away during Fa study, and I sometimes got sleepy. As a result, my cultivation practice was not solid. An upset stomach could consume all my righteous thoughts. What I did was to treat myself as an everyday person and decided to skip the practice.

Thank you, Master, for waking up this headstrong disciple! I’ll definitely stay diligent, and seize the time in the final hours to practice solid cultivation!