Getting caught in the day to day rat race often leaves one feeling spiritually distant from God. The busyness of life and attachment to worldly things causes a lack of motivation to do good. Why should one pray, read Qurʾān, or learn more about God? In this article, I provide some tips to help motivate you to snap out of spiritual laziness and distance from God.
You’re in Debt, Count Your Blessings.
And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the Blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily! Man is indeed an extreme wrong-doer and ingrate (Qurʾān 14:34).
This verse repeats itself in another chapter in the Qurʾān but the verse ends with a description of God rather than man: Even if you counted all of God’s blessings, you would not be able to. God is All-forgiving and All-merciful (Qurʾān 16:18).
One verse ends by describing humans as wrongdoers and ingrates, and the other verse ends by describing God as All Forgiving and All Merciful. In the context of blessings, we can never thank God enough but He is still forgiving.
Your blessings are immeasurable. Think of these basic blessings that you might possess: life, family, health, eyesight, hearing, a roof over your head, all the limbs of your body, food for the day, a loving friend, heat, air condition, clean drinking water, transportation, and electricity. How would your life suddenly change should any of these items disappear? Have you ever considered that if all the water you have, sink down in the ground, who is it, that will bring you the clear-flowing water? (Qurʾān 67:30). When these blessings disappear, we cry to God for help and ask Him to restore them. And when He responds, we often forget. When there is turbulence on an airplane, everyone calls on God, but when He saves them from potential catastrophe they immediately forget. And whatever of blessings you have, it is from Allah. Then, when harm touches you, unto Him you cry aloud for help (Qurʾān 16:53).
It is said that God told David to thank Him as He deserves to be thanked. David responded by asking how he can possibly do so when He even needs to thank God for the ability to thank Him. God told David that he has now thanked God. It is a recognition that no matter what we do, we can never repay God or thank Him for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us. If you do not feel like praying or coming close to God, take a minute and just reflect on the blessings you have. Close your eyes, imagine being blind for the rest of your life. What would you do to get your eyesight back? This exercise will lead to a feeling of debt to God and a need to thank Him.
You’re in Even More Debt, Count Your Sins
Although humans are naturally ungrateful, we are also constantly making mistakes and God is constantly responding to our mistakes with forbearance and forgiveness. If God were to take people to task for their wrongdoing, He would not leave even one living creature on earth (Qurʾān 16:61). Reflecting on all of your wrongdoing will motivate you to seek forgiveness. Similar to your blessings, take a minute and count all the wrong you may have done. Perhaps you may have mocked someone, hurt someone’s feelings, belittled people, slandered, looked at prohibited things, cheated, stole, envied, or behave arrogantly.
God had many reasons and opportunities to expose you. Some of the sins you do could have destroyed your family life, caused you to lose your job, ruined your reputation, or even landed you in prison. Yet, God has concealed your sins from the eyes of others even when you commit them in public. He is constantly forgiving and overlooking and humans are constantly sinning and forgetting. However, this does not always go on forever. There comes a point for some people where God eventually exposes them. God conceals our sins in order to motivate us to learn a lesson and return to Him. If that does not work He at times exposes our actions to others to make us realize what we were doing and return to Him.
Counting your blessings and sins is a means that can help inspire you to come back to God and thank Him for all He has given you. If you feel empty and spiritually lazy, take a moment and reflect on your debt toward God pick up the Qurʾān and read it. It is the direct word of God and it will soften your heart.