It's a new term at school and it's the last term of the year. The third term is very important, yet the students can't visualize how to start it because they are tired. They're still recovering from Term two exams. I gave my pep talk.
"Nobody is taking down these notes, but it's going to be really hard to remember all this information in June when you're taking your finals. You're in March! June is a long time from now. The you in March or the "March You" is going to need to help the "June You" now."
What I told my students is of course true for all of us as well.
One of my favorite mottos is "Make hay while the sun shines" however it probably doesn't resonant with as many as it used to. I actually have been on a farm helping a single mother with hay baling. That hard work was needed and every time it seemed too hard it was best to remember that the winter without food for the animals would be impossible.
Winter is the hardship and after hardship there is ease. During times of ease---and most of us have FAR more times of ease than the single-mom farmer---we need to push ourselves to prepare for the times of hardship. God has promised us that life is full of cycles: day and night, life and death, hardship and ease. We shouldn't be surprised that life has times of both. We should push ourselves in times when we can to get work done that will help keep us going through the future's challenges.
It could be something that needs your mind:
- finishing a project for work
- studying for school
- sending THAT email
- writing your story
- applying for next year
- washing the dishes
- doing laundry
- putting away last season's clothes
- sorting through clutter
It could be spiritual work:
- reading deep wisdom
- memorizing Quran
- making amends
- having a quiet time in nature
All of our actions break through the inactive downfall of procrastination. When I'm playing a game like Candy Crush, I see how any action is better than inaction. Moves must be made in order to win. We all see this, but we hope to somehow avoid making moves in our lives.
Then, the future sneaks up on us and it's not pretty.
- the supervisor didn't like the excuse given
- dishes that sat in the sink didn't wash themselves
- no clean clothes to wear
- undone prayers added up quickly
- you're stuck in sameness
It's an ugly realization that we've wasted time and that's the resource we never get back again. This is going to be especially true as Ramadan approaches.
For me, I know that I do not want another Ramadan without me having finished studying the Quran with my son. I do not want to leave this world without that effort having come to completion. On the weekends, I am pushing that agenda with enthusiasm and, if need be, some seriousness. Wallahi, I can only get it done envisioning the happiness and relief I will feel inshahallah this Ramadan having done what I set out to do almost three years ago.
Maybe there are others of you who can't imagine HOW the Quran gets read in one month. It's doable because it happens---it's just never happened to me. I know that if it is done in small chunks, combined as part of the process of five prayers it is easier. Maybe this year...but if you doubt that you can make it happen, then start NOW in reading Quran and, even if it isn't what everyone does, make it work for YOU. There are many ways to start now in making the journey for Ramadan easier.
Get Ready for Ramadan
- make up fasting days
- give up a nasty habit which is incompatible with Islam
- cook up and try out new healthy recipes
- reconnect with family
- give or ask for forgiveness
There is a "Future You" and a "Future Me". We need to help them out now. Even without having ever met them, I am sure they will be thankful for our efforts saying "Alhumdulillah."