I love life fast-paced.
I love being busy, having a packed schedule, and getting task after task on my to-do list done. I love feeling productive. It makes me feel just that much closer to achieving my goals. In my opinion, there is something so energizing about being faced with a challenging day.
Furthermore, for me, the term “fast-paced” can also take on a more literal meaning. I love barreling in a car down the highway. I love watching trees and bright lights in the night fly by the edges of my vision before I can fully register them. I love pressing forward. It feels like conquest and I crave it.
Most of all, I love looking back at my day and wondering how all of that happened in the mere span of 24 hours. I love being in awe of time. Sometimes it’s terrifying, but I’ve always much preferred progress to stagnation.
So God (Allah) decided to teach me a lesson in patience.
And as fiery as my soul is- constantly leaping and reaching out to the sky the way a flame does- I had to learn how to burn in place, to deal with the heat of friction.
Allah decided to make waiting my only option.
I was put in a situation where something I wanted so, so badly was placed right in front of me. However, it was like telling a child they could look at what they wanted, but not touch. For the first time in my life, my situation was entirely out of my hands. This wasn’t an exam I could stay up all night or wake up early to study for. It wasn’t an internship or volunteer position I could be proactive in applying to. It wasn’t a train I could be punctual for. There was nothing I could do- except make supplication and rely on God.
Being put in such a situation caused me to realize that, while my ability to directly affect the situation myself was restricted, my ability to call out upon The One in charge of every single one of my affairs was not. For the first time in my life, I learned to have a connection with God- something I couldn’t learn in any class, seminar, or conference. And that, in a sense, made the lesson I learned just that much more precious.
Still coping with the bewilderment of having to deal with such a foreign situation, I directed all the pain, frustration, confusion, and uncertainty toward my calling out to God. I tried to implement the tradition of Prophet Jacobp: “I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allah” (Quran, 12:69). Admittedly, Allah was not my only confidant, but He became The First One I went to whenever something happened, and The One I was able to share a raw honesty with- for Who would better be able to understand my emotions and rationale than The One who created them?
I learned that while acts well-known like prayer and reading Qur’an are essential to developing and maintaining a relationship with God, truly relying upon Him is just as essential. That entails having the bravery to admit your weaknesses to The Strongest and admit your incapabilities to The Capable. It entails fully believing that Allah, The Highest, would surely never allow your affair to go astray as long as you trust in Him, and allowing that knowledge to gradually quell the worries that might plague an aching mind as it struggles to drift to sleep. Perhaps relief won’t come immediately. Perhaps easing anxiety and fighting hopelessness will be a battle up an incredibly steep hill. But surely, with time and persistence, things will get easier, Allah willing. And little by little, ease will come the way water flows down leaves towards the roots He destined them for. Little by little, things will be made easy in ways you did not expect, from sources previously unknown- such is the nature of His Mercy upon His slaves.
I love to wait because while waiting I was forced to examine myself and what I lack more closely. Allah caused waiting to open my eyes and my heart to what they previously passed over. I love to wait because as much as I am inclined to dislike it, it is through waiting that I drew closer to my Lord and developed a new dimension in my relationship with Him– something infinitely more valuable than everything I seemingly lost in the process.