The below story is adapted from one of the Buddhist Jataka Tales. I don't know the exact name of it but I read about it in the book Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With The Heart of a Buddha by Tara Burch. I've seen this story play out many times before.
In a previous life the Buddha was a good merchant living in a small village in north India. One afternoon, while working in his shop, he saw a beautiful and luminous person walking across the town square. Stunned, he continued to watch. He felt his heart light up in celebration. He had never felt or sensed the divine shining forth with such immanence.
The merchant knew that he wanted to serve this being and give his life to awakening such love in his own heart. With great care he prepared a tray of fruit and tea to offer as nourishment to this being. He stepped out into the sunlit day, moving joyfully toward the luminous being who seemed to stand awaiting him.
When the merchant was halfway across the town square, the daylight turned to darkness. The ground quaked violently and a gash in the earth appeared between him and the one he longed to serve. Lightning bolts ripped through the sky, and he saw the glaring eyes and bloody mouths of horrifying demons. He was surrounded by the voices of Mara: "Go back! Turn around! It's too dangerous, you won't survive!" As crashing thunder shook the air the voices continued to warn, "This way is not for you! Who do you think you are? Go back to your shop, to the life you know."
Terrified, the good merchant was about to turn around and run for safety. But at that moment his heart swelled with a longing so great that his desire for love and freedom was stronger than any voice of warning or doubt. With that, the merchant took a step into the dark chaos...and then another.
The demons disappeared, the light of day returned and the earth came back together.
The merchant, full of joy, found himself standing right in front of the luminous figure and the great being embraced him saying "Well done, bodhisattva, well done. Walk on through all the fears and pain in this life. Walk on following your heart and trusting in the power of awareness. Walk on, one step at a time, and you will know freedom and peace beyond all imagining."