Houses burn down, tsunamis kill thousands in an instant, cities can vanish in an earthquake. They are all made of separate parts and can all be destroyed. But the underlying principle that manifests in all these various forms can never be destroyed. It never goes away. It is never born. It never dies. It is forever, eternal, and indestructible.
When Buddha says, “Strive with earnestness,” he is referring to how easy it is to be swept up into believing that all this impermanent stuff is real and worth our time and energy. We get diverted onto the path of amassing more and more and lamenting our losses. We are driven by constant fear that it all will disappear and that it is all meaningless.
It takes work and sincere passion (earnestness) to keep from being caught up in the whirlwind of the material world. It takes work to set ourselves apart from this form of mass hypnosis and create that contact with Eternal Source Energy. But Buddha didn’t say, “Be miserable while you strive with earnestness.” Misery does not fit into this kind of work. It is light, free, peaceful, and happy work.