Why Even Try?
As it is destined, so it shall be. We have heard this phrase – or some variation of it – in almost every satsang we have attended. Countless times, questions have been asked about destiny and whether or not anyone has the power to change their destiny. Time and again, the answer has been consistent – no one can change their own or anyone else’s destiny.
A natural question then arises about the relevance of effort. On one hand, we have repeatedly heard that we need to put in effort in order to find our way back to our true home. On the other, we are faced with the inevitability of our destiny. If our going back to God is already destined, then it will happen with or without the effort because no one can change that. In the same way, effort becomes irrelevant if we are not destined to go back to our true home. So why even try?
But think: Any effort that we put towards our spiritual pursuit may only be a tiny droplet in a huge ocean, but it is still a droplet that counts in our favour. It is still a step towards preparing for our final journey. We may not know where we are going to end up, but we can hope for the best and prepare for it. In worldly interactions, we always do our best to be prepared. We may not know who we will bump into when we leave the house in the morning, but we make sure that we look presentable – our hair is done, make-up is in place and clothes are ironed to a crisp. We would never walk out of the house in pyjamas, with our hair undone, to face other people. When anticipating an important business meeting, we start working weeks ahead of time to have all the details in place before facing the client. Presentations are made in advance and rehearsed multiple times before the actual date. When athletes prepare for a sporting event, training starts months ahead, and exercise and diet regimens are strictly followed. Even going on a short trip requires planning and preparation – what clothes to pack, what type of transportation will be taken, and so on. We put so much thought and preparation into our worldly life, spending considerable time making sure that we present only our best to the world. Do we not owe the same to our almighty Father?
Yes, coming to the path and finding our way home may be a result of our destiny. The Master has often referred to the use of a bulldozer in extreme cases – if a soul is meant to go back, it will. It now depends on us – whether we willingly and joyfully walk the path leading home or if we need to be dragged by the Master’s bulldozer. The latter will be much more painful. Our effort is what pleases him most, so let us be prepared!