Oyasama once said:
“If you go to the summit you will receive something marvelous. But since one turns back because of dangers on the way, one does not receive the treasure.”
Anecdotes of Oyasama, no. 171
On the calm ocean surface, suddenly a pillar of fire shoots up. With a deafening noise, a new volcano emerges.
It might seem as if the volcanic island had formed quickly. Yet the volcano had gradually been growing larger and larger with each undersea eruption.
Our efforts can be like undersea eruptions. We tend to become impatient when we see no results despite everything we are doing. We may feel that all our efforts are in vain. However, once our work passes a certain threshold, what seemed like futile efforts begin to mesh well together, with things falling into place. The key here is whether we can persist with our efforts until then.
If we knew when we could see the results, few of us would give up halfway. Since we do not know how much longer we need to keep up our efforts, we begin to feel less confident and more anxious and may, eventually, give up trying.
If we come to a point where we are almost overwhelmed because we feel sure we have exhausted all our efforts, we may actually be coming very close to our goal. Just a little extra effort may bring our work to fruition.
In retrospect, we might realize that we shone most brightly when we were struggling through difficulties. Let us always remember that Oyasama is there for us through every trial we face. She is saying: “Keep going! You are almost there!”