HONG KONG- The former Chinese American tennis star Michael Chang shared with Hong Kong people that the greatest meaning of life is love, after his years of success and achievement.
To the Hong Kong people who generally regard work and money as the most important parts of their lives, Chang sharply pointed out that their lives should not be confined in those aspects.
"If your pursuit for wealth and materials has become the meaning of your life, then your priority is reversed," he said to some 3,000 people gathered at the Kowloon City Baptist Church on Monday evening.
"We always think that we will be satisfied if we can gain even one dollar more, but actually money does not give us real joy, peace and satisfaction of life."
"The very important thing in human life is to love- love your family, love your friends, love yourself- but most importantly, you must love God," Chang exhorted the real answer of life based on his years of faith in Christ.
"Life is very short, isn’t it very sad if we cannot do what we really want? We should do what we really like to do," he continued. "We should be aware of those we wish to serve. God gives us talents so that we can contribute to others. However, no matter what you do, you must serve your family first. If you love your family first, everything will follow."
In the light of the escalating suicide rate in Hong Kong, Chang said his heart "anguished" when people did not treat their lives properly because of their blindness to the truth. He wishes all people, especially the young people, learn to love themselves through the truth.
Chang quoted the bible verses from Psalms 139: 13-14- "For you create my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."- to explain about the perfection in God’s creation.
"If you look at yourself with the eyes of God, you are beautiful from inside to outside, and it is fearful."
Chang used himself as an example to further explain the simple truth, "When I was young, I always asked God why He made me a Chinese? Why God made me 5-foot-9 in a world where the average height of players is 6-foot-2?"
"However, God always does what people think is impossible. When I was 17 years old- not the tallest or greatest- God allows me to become the first Asian to capture the title of French Open champion in 1989," he continued. "I think God wants to bring joy to the Chinese who were downcast by the 1989 Democracy Protests in Beijing through my victory. God allows me to see how deep is his love for Chinese."
Chang concluded as saying, "There must be a reason that God made us as what we are now. You have to accept yourself, to appreciate the talents that God has given to you and to develop them."
Chang said he has never regretted for he has dedicated himself to the Lord since 16 years old because God has given him a really meaningful life. The Christian faith has started in his family from his grandmother, who was saved miraculously from cancer after she accepted the Lord as the savior, and the testimony is now passing down from generation to generation.
Chang encouraged all people to accept the love of God, so that their families will also be blessed.
Since Chang’s retirement in 2003, he has dedicated himself in testifying the love of the Lord in many countries. The Chang Family Foundation (CFF) established by his family is also helping many orphans in China.
This time, Chang was sponsored by the Hong Kong-based Goodnews Communication International (GNCI) and the Prince of Peace Charity Foundation to testify his Christian faith on an evangelistic gathering "My Calling." Later, he will also fly to Shanghai, China, to share his life and his faith with mainlanders.
[Editor's Note: Emily Wong contributed reporting from Hong Kong for this article.]