I was speaking with my sister-in-law today and I came to the conclusion that life doesn't always come together the way we plan it. We were talking about fate vs. destiny and how much control our decisions in life really have over our eventual fate. Are we already destined to be in a certain place at a certain time? Or do the choices we make over the course of our lives actually influence where we're going to end up.
I've had plenty of opportunity to think about this. Take Lupus, for example. the cause of lupus is unknown. I don't believe I did anything harmful to myself for getting this supposed "genetic" disease. They don't even know what combination of genes cause the disease. Therefore, I believe, it's safe to say, that I had no input in whether this disease would become part of my life or not. Ergo, since it was out of my control, the only other being that would have had the power to put this in my life would be God.
Now, obviously, I will not judge how God makes His decisions. I've been dealt with something - no questions asked and no options otherwise. How I choose to deal with it, though, is the real test. This is where it gets tricky so try to follow.
I have the choice of wallowing in self-pity, staying home, lying in bed and getting depressed. All those things are within my reach and people don't know enough about the disease to actually dispute my feelings. I could take that route and totally get away with it. On the other hand, I could take the medication diligently, make myself useful when I'm feeling good, do whatever I can to express myself and be able to talk about my views on the situation (my way is to blog). But, above all, I can take this "forced" rest as an opportunity and a sign from God that I should be more diligent about what is required of me as a muslim.
Before I got really sick, I used to make excuses for why I couldn't perform the five daily prayers. I was busy, I was at work, I was out, I couldn't make it home on time. There were a plethora of excuses. I could have even prayed kaza, but then there would be the excuse of being too tired at the end of the night to make up for the other four times that I had missed. I knew it was wrong. I didn't shouldn't have had any excuses but I made them anyway.
Now I'm sick and I'm stuck at home. Like I said, I could use the time to surf the internet or just lay in bed. Or I could get my ass up, interrupt whatever I'm doing (which, let's face it, isn't really that important in the grand scheme of things), make wodhu and stand for prayer. It's simple really. No excuses, no reason not to do it. And in my salah, the one dua I make (amongst others), is to help me deal with whatever He has in store for me. For sabr, for guidance, for faith in His decisions.
I'm finding it gets easier every day. Most of all, there is a sense of peace in my heart. I know now that there was a purpose to all this happening to me and I'm grateful that I've been able to find that purpose. There may be other reasons which I may or may not discover as time goes on and which God, in his infinite wisdom, may or may not reveal to me. But He has revealed one reason and I'm taking it. It's a basic thing really, almost nothing to write a whole blog post about, but in its simplicity lies its significance. For me, anyway.