Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 40

40. Using God’s Blessings in a Precious Manner

The following story is from the April 1947 issue of Michi no tomo by Keitaro Nakayama (1884–1964), the grandson of Masa Nakayama and great-grandson of Oyasama:

“The Honseki always walked from his home and worshiped at the Kanrodai each day. He would usually do so around three or four o’clock in the afternoon. He would stop by at the Church Headquarters dormitory for a rest and then proceed to the Kanrodai, the Foundress’ Sanctuary, and the Memorial. He would then always return to the dormitory for some tea.

“One day, when it was my turn to prepare tea for the Honseki, I was told that he had some business to attend to, so he was planning to do his daily worship about an hour and a half earlier than usual. Because this was different from his usual routine, I was in a mad rush to begin rekindling the fire for the hot water that started to go out. I added pieces of charcoal and frantically stirred up the fire by blowing through a bamboo pipe. The Honseki came back to the dormitory while I was doing so. The fire in the brazier began to emit a bluish flame and a sulfurous odor filled the room.

“As I nervously poured the tea that still had not been brought to a complete boil, the Honseki kindly told me the following:

“‘I did my daily worship much earlier today, so I see I have caused you much trouble. But, you know, Keitaro, charcoal is something that we receive from God. So we must learn how to use it well. If we let it burn until it emits flames, it will quickly turn into ash. However, if we cover the charcoal with ash, an amount that would normally last for one hour can be extended to three to four hours. If we use two hours’ worth of charcoal in one hour, it is like throwing away an hour’s worth of God’s blessings. Everything in this universe belongs to Heaven, to God. So it is important to use things in a precious manner as long as we can.'”

(From Ten no jogi p. 88)

*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.