Sri Ramakrishna would often exhort his visitors to turn their minds away from useless pursuits and strive whole-heartedly for realizing God or the Ultimate Truth. He used to illustrate this idea with a beautiful story.
A man built a house on a hill. It was only a mud hut, but he had built it up with great personal effort. A few days later a violent thunderstorm occurred and the hut began to rock. The man became very anxious to save it and prayed to the Lord. He got no response and the house was about to crash. Then he thought of a trick. He remembered that Hanuman was the son of the god of Wind. At once he cried out in great earnestness, “Revered Sir, please don’t pull down this house since it belongs to Hanuman!” But, still the house continued to shake violently. He repeated many times his prayer but the fury of the winds didn’t abate. Then he remembered that Hanuman was the devoted servant of Rama whose younger brother was Lakshmana. Desperately he started crying aloud as, “This house belongs to Lakshmana!” But, even this didn’t help the matter. As a last resort he cried out, “It is Rama’s house. O god of winds, please do not break it. I beseech you humbly!” But, even that proved futile and the house began to crash down. Then the man seeing his own life in danger left the house with a curse, “Let it go, this is devil’s own house!”
Sri Ramakrishna would say that quite often people engage themselves in various useless pursuits attributing several reasons depending upon one’s own ego. But, one should realize that everything in this world happens due to God’s will and hence one should surrender to the Divine Will. The only thing worth pursuing in this world is the search for the Ultimate Truth or God.