During the semester, it’s quite easy to get swamped with a bunch of classes and drown in a heavy workload. Readings and papers, exams and quizzes. Extracurricular activities, events, family, friends, and sleep. It’s a lot to organize and schedule. One very important item is missing from that list: religion.
I’ve been guilty of this numerous times. I’ll have my to-do list, with all the homework I have to get done, chores around the house, friends I need to call, and even shows I need to watch. Reading Qur’an, listening to a lecture, making some dhikr are on the list too, but when I get pressed for time, those are usually the first tasks I allow myself to procrastinate. And I know that’s horrible, but sadly, it’s my reality.
Even on those rare occasions when I find myself with some free time during the school year, I opt for a sit-back-and-relax type of leisure activity instead of perhaps reading the Qur’an pages I skipped the day before.
What I can’t figure out is why. I know I’ll feel 100 times better about how I spent my day if I simply take the 20 minutes to read some Qur’an. I know making dhikr will bring me some satisfaction from remembering my Lord. I know, yet I still don’t push myself.
Now with the school year over, I have ample time and nothing to do. But that’s just it — there’s a lot to do. Finally, I have the time to refocus and establish good religious habits. I know that faith fluctuates, but to rise up, initiative must be taken. It’s harder to ride a bike up the hill than down.
These good religious habits we try to instill in ourselves shouldn’t be seen as a task. Sure, it’s hard work to master the skills, but they can become our chance to relax and unwind. Prayer is a step away from the stresses and anxieties of this world to connect with our Lord; in no way should it be a burden or another thing on a to-do list that just needs to be checked off.
This post is one I wanted to write for a few days now, but I couldn’t get myself to type. I knew the words I’d put forth were going to be a reminder to myself to stop fooling around, take life seriously, and use time wisely. It’s easy to sit around and do nothing, but it makes me feel useless when I’m lying down in bed trying to sleep at night. I’m glad I wrote it though. We all have weaknesses, and sometimes owning up to them is the first step to get back on the right track.