I'm leaving for Egypt in a couple days, God willing.
Eeks. That means I should probably get packing soon... sigh.
This morning I went canoeing with my two younger sisters. It's kind of a tradition we do before I leave to travel. It was quite an adventure. The wind speed today was about 9 MPH. Literally. That means the water current was really strong. So we start canoeing down the river. Easy. Piece of cake. 30 minutes later we're about a mile down the river and realize "oh crap, how are we going to go back up the river???"
Long story short, we made it back up the river in about an hour and a half after about 4 or 5 big loops where we would go straight 1/6 mile and then get pushed back by the current. My arms and shoulders are like solid rock right now. Seriously.
So anyhow, this whole river adventure really got me thinking. Going up the river was really hard...I mean really really hard. It took some massive arm muscle and major communication skills between my sisters and I. The analogy reminded me of a major concept in Islam. As Muslims, our main goal in life is to enter Paradise. And on that course we know that we'll be tested. Sometimes we'll be able to ride the current in peace and a lot of the times we'll be working against the current, getting tested in life. The fact of the matter is, working through those tests makes us stronger people and one step closer to Paradise.
I mean think about it. Look at people who are tested with illnesses like cancer. If they're patient and optimistic they usually come out happier than most because they realize whats important in life. Or look at people who are tested with loss of money. If patient and optimistic they'll come out with a better outlook on life and what we really need versus what we waste money on. Even down to little tests like rifts between friends or not getting into the school you want...later on when you look back in retrospect you realize that there was wisdom in you going through that trial. That that hardship made you who you are today.
Moral of the story: there will most definitely be times in life when we're working against the current, and it seems like life is really hard. But in the end, if we're patient, persevering, and optimistic we'll probably come out stronger than we were prior to. So lets change the way we look at hardship...let's wear the lens of optimism!!