Ever challenging spirit.

Generally speaking, human beings have a tendency to live in a casual, easy-going way. This could be said to be one of their natural characteristics. Hence, it is not unusual that though we embrace the Gohonzon, it is sometimes easy to develop only a superficial practice from force of habit. We must constantly be aware of this potential pitfall. “ever-challenging” spirit should be another way of describing faith. Nichiren Daishonin in Gosho says “strengthen your faith day by day and month by month. Should you slacken even a bit, demons will take advantage.” The person who can overcome his weakness and challenge any obstacles must have a youthful spirit. This, a result of courage faith. SGI President Ikeda in his poem wrote: “Faith is- To fear nothing, To stand firmly... The power to surmount whatever the obstacles.” Faith is not something we have because other tells us to, nor is it something that others can give us. Faith has to come from our hearts. Similarly, we cannot expect the Gohonzon to take care of everything for us. Some people are careless in their daily life. Even without realizing it, they risk being careless just because they chant to the Gohonzon. They may think this is confidence in faith but it is actually being irresponsible. Because we have faith, we should be even more conscientious than other peoples. Sensei used to say “when we practice faith positively and with a seeking spirit, we’ll gain benefits and improve our life-condition. On the contrary, if our practice is passive or is only done out of habit, we’ll not feel joy nor gain benefits. We may even begin to feel overburdened. How long we have been practicing is not the essential factors as far as our fortune and life-condition are concerned. No matter how long we have practiced, when we lose our passion and seeking spirit we will be overwhelmed by our own weakness and karma. But if we stand courageously with faith in the face of our problems, we can definitely change our destiny and enjoys the great fortune we will accumulate.