There’s a lot I want to write about, things I want to say but don’t know how to properly introduce into the paragraph. How do you go about deciding whether or not you’re Islamic enough? How do you decide whether or not your life and time have been a waste?
I recently met someone who takes their Islam very seriously, and to be honest, I find it intimidating. It makes me somewhat uneasy when I mentally compare my level of knowledge to theirs, and measuring up short makes me feel, well… short.
Alright, so the metaphor here isn’t perfect, as physical growth is limited by genetics and spiritual growth is limited only by your will. Being 5’5,” I’m always in the middle of things and don’t really mind. Being a somewhat practicing Muslim, I’ve fallen into complacency about my spiritual height. I hang out with people all of the same height, and in the absence of taller people, we tend to forget that we’re average at best.
So I met a person spiritually taller than me, and it was unsettling for a while. They went and raised the bar. (Curse you. Yes, you.) And now the low standards to which I measured myself are back in proper perspective. Low is once again low, and it makes me feel bad.
I tried to blame this on the other person at first (only a little, and that I blame on shaitan) but I have to properly put the blame on myself. Why was my bar so low? It used to be higher, when did I let it slip a few notches? And why am I so uncomfortable discussing religion with them? Is it because they’re too tall? Or is it because I’m too short? Can I ever be comfortable in their presence?
*looks around room*
No, I can’t, and to be honest, I never should. Comfort is complacency, complacency is stagnation, stagnation is the antithesis to spiritual growth. If I want to get any taller, I need to let myself see my shortness first, because if I refuse to see it, how will I see the need to grow? Sure, it’s easier just to stay put, to stay the same comfortable height and do the same comfortable things, but I’ll never get anywhere that way. The wisest men know they are sinners, the worst sinners think they’re wise. It may be hutzbah to call myself wise enough to see my sins, but God forbid I revel in my wisdom and overlook my sins.
So I curse you. Yes, you, for poking me out of hibernation, for waking me from the Lotus Eater’s sleep and pushing me into brighter light. I curse you, and I thank you. And even if you should move on to higher places and better things, I will remember the reminder. I will not defend my height. I will instead work on growing. I won’t work on being comfortable with the subject, because comfort is a prerequisite to falling asleep again. Go on and annoy the heck out of me. I want you to.