Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, a voice spoke up within the man’s weary mind: “You’ve been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You’re never going to move it” —thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.
“Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that’ll be good enough.” And that’s just what he planned to do— but on an impulse, he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord of Life. “Lord” he said, “I’ve labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you’ve asked. Yet, after all this time, I haven’t even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What’s wrong? Why am I failing?”
The Lord of Life responded compassionately.
“My friend, when I asked you to serve me— you accepted. I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength— which you’ve done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to me— with your strength spent, thinking that you’ve failed. But is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscular. Your back sinew is mighty. Your hands are callused from the constant pressure; and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you’ve grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in my wisdom. This you’ve done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”
This is the essence of Life. That problems come and go in our Life exactly the same way in which opportunities come and go. When we can’t do something about a problem, let’s not get frustrated. As Paulo Coelho says in ‘The Manual of the Warrior of Light’, in such situations, “make your work, even if you dislike it, your prayer”. What Life expects from us is acceptance. If we can accept what comes our way, without strife, without grief, with limited action __ only where and when we deem it necessary __ we will find peace and bliss. Our true calling is to devote ourselves to the task of living completely, despite our circumstances, with what has been served to us by Life!