Joyously Accepting Everything as God’s Gift

This is a translation of an article written by Soichi Suenaga, head minister of Tamakatsu Branch Church, for Tenri Jiho newspaper’s column entitled “The Ofudesaki, My Companion along the Way.”

Everything has been fully arranged for your happiness. Look forward to it!

Ofudesaki II:42

Among the wonderful opportunities offered in the Home of the Parent is Shuyoka, the Spiritual Development Course, where men and women from all walks of life spend three months together undergoing a learning experience unlike anything they have ever encountered before.

Shuyoka may include occasions when those who have never even touched a cleaning rag find themselves in a position to clean toilets as a form of hinokishin, or selfless and thankful action.

Once a young woman belonging to my church entered Shuyoka and was given chances to clean toilets–something she had never done before. Some time later, when I saw her in the Home of the Parent, she told me: “At first, I accepted only reluctantly that I would have to clean toilets. But each time I cleaned, I did try my best to make the toilets cleaner than the last time. Soon I found myself trying to make them as clean as possible. Then before I knew it, I was enjoying cleaning toilets.”

Oyasama teaches:

If you do something with gratitude, no matter how hard or unpleasant it may be, your virtue will reach heaven. Virtue which is accepted by God will be turned into joy.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, no. 144

Everything we humans have–ranging from our families and jobs to circumstances, situations, and everything else–is provided by God. This includes any role, position, or task that may be given to us. Everything that comes our way embodies God’s profound parental love that desires to help us live the Joyous Life and can be seen as “God’s call for our service.”

I, for one, am one of those people who have been given the opportunity to serve as Yoboku (“useful timber” for building the Joyous Life). I always try to make a point of reminding myself to accept whatever happens with joy and do my best in the service of God.

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