Sunday, May 17, 2009

Against the Current

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!!

15 comments:

MarjnHomer said...

Optimism. Such an easy word to use but harder to put to practice!

Nur said...

To controlled chaos :

Hii! :D
well... thank you very much, u made me realize that there is a mistake...
i wanted to say

"In my opinion, who doesnt believe or understand LOVE, means that s/he never felt it before, in truly ways". Some people get angry when I say to them that they never felt truly love... thats why I say > no offense < (I'll fix the mistake now)

I wanted to post in your journey... but it says I must get an invitation :D

Lisa said...

Excellent Post.

Inshallah you will have a wonderful trip. And maybe even swim against the current of the Nile! Be safe and love you.

Asha said...

Salaam!!

Nice post! I like how you use the river as an anology to describe optimism. Have you heard about 'The last lecture'? The lecturer was diagnosed with terminal illness but still he took it positively and in last lecture, he talked about what life meant to him and how we should live it. Such an inspiration!

A quote that I remember:

Human suffering is real. However, human perseverance and human dignity are just as real. They allow us to nobly endure the trials of this world. [Imam Zaid Shakir]

Have fun in Egypt!! :)

Constructive Attitude said...

:)

Artistic Logic said...

you're cute =)

provoking invoking said...

this is beautifully and concisely written. thank you for the physical picture and physical reward of going against the current :). you and your sisters sound like so much fun!!

just one little correction i have: "As Muslims, our main goal in life is to enter Paradise." i would say that a Muslim's MAIN goal should be to attain the pleasure of God and trust Him. :)

please pray for me cause traveller's duaas are accepted iA!! for my family to be of the successful and content and trusting in Allah.. JAK

Girl On A Journey said...

Now this definitely got me thinkin!

Rachel said...

I tend to get less done when I'm optimistic, which is a trade-off I'm more than willing to take.

Hope you have a wonderful time in Egypt!

mary evelyn said...

that's a great thing to know early on in life. i think it takes a lot of people a lot longer to learn that lesson. thanks for sharing!

the girl in stiletto said...

so very true. every single word. :) what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger.

Mrs. Cullen said...

i love this post!

EmptyWords said...

I agree with marjnhomer... In practice, optimism is very hard to conquer. if we've never had cancer or been homeless, its easy to say 'just be optimistic.' it doesnt work that easily but may God help us all to achieve optimism in all our aspects of life. definitely easier said than done...

Almost Close said...

hehe remember me y'all??!?! well anyways i just wanted to say that I really liked this post. As many times as we hear this, it really is important to be reminded to remain optimistic and focused on what is important in these times, not only bc of the economy and blah blah blah, but bc of these crossroads that a lot of us are on as we are trying to find our path. Thanks!!!!

1900CL. said...

Wow what an hour and a half!You are so brave dear,I know it's late but.Congratulations,you did it girl!