Better to be exhausted than rusted
With every passing moment time moves forward inexorably and irreversibly. The passage of time causes non-living things to rust. Living beings also age as time passes. However, as human beings, we have the developed consciousness by which to perceive our non-aging nature as eternal souls.
Realizing ourselves to be souls is, however, not easy. To raise our consciousness to the spiritual level, we need to fight rigorously against the relentless onslaught of alluring material desires. Such desires arise internally due to our past memories and externally due to the contemporary materialistic culture. Battling against their continuous onslaught can make us exhausted. We may feel that our life would be easier without this battle. Would it really?
Our life may become a bit easytemporarily, but eventually it will become excruciatingly difficult when the body loses its capacity to enjoy. For example, those who live for sexual pleasures are left with nothing to live for when impotency strikes; they are forced to live in helpless frustration as their bodies rust.
In contrast, a joyful destiny can be ours if we untiringly fight against sensual desires and stick to the spiritual level, as the Bhagavad-gita (03.30) recommends. With the passage of time, when our body loses its capacity to enjoy, the futility of sensual indulgence becomes increasingly obvious. At the same time, our devotional habit of focusing on Krishna, honed by a lifetime of diligent practice, becomes natural. As Krishna is a reservoir of unlimited happiness, our natural connection with him enables us to relish undistracted devotional happiness continuously in this life and also eternally when we return to him at the end of this life.
Thus does our willingness to be exhausted in fighting to rise to the spiritual level save us from the mortification of becoming rusted at the material level.
“Therefore, O Arjuna, surrendering all your works unto Me, with full knowledge of Me, without desires for proﬁt, with no claims to proprietorship, and free from lethargy, ﬁght.”