Straight. Uncomplicated. Simple.
If I had to describe my relationship with God in three words, these would be it.
A couple of years ago, I found myself struggling with a bad case of friendsickness (which is like homesickness, except that you miss your friends all the time). ‘Till this day, I’m still not sure how it caught on, but it was too often that I found myself yearning to be with my friends, to hang out with them whenever we happened to meet, to get to know them better and perhaps share any interests that we had in common. I was convinced that this would happen if I tried hard enough, if I put in just the right amount of effort toward them, if not more. Unfortunately, those efforts often went in vain, and I spent much of my time hating myself over things I just couldn’t control. If I put my foot forward to make someone happy or show that I cared, shouldn’t I have the same expectations in return?
Why, of course. But one can’t possibly please everyone, and it was only until I fell upon my old IM chatlogs one night that I realized this. I was going through messages that I had sent on my computer, messages that had remained unanswered, and I was ashamed that I had repeatedly tried to put effort into someone that perhaps didn’t have the time or need to do the same. Then it hit me — the hours it took to someone to talk to me could’ve been seconds if I raised my hands and talked to God instead, that compared to the different likes and dislikes I had to adjust my way around for people, God’s likes and dislikes never change, that if I should drown in the complexity of the creation, the simplicity of the Creator would save me.
In a Hadith Qudsi, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
Allah the Almighty said: Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant — he hates death and I hate hurting him.
I’m not saying that we should completely isolate ourselves from any form of human interaction. Rather, we should seek to learn about God and develop a stronger relationship with Him. Often times, we tend to think about God in a sense of strict obligation and duty, and forget that He is also the most Compassionate, the Loving. We forget that everything that God ordained for us to do and not to do is for our benefit, and that He has blessed us with so much more than we can imagine.
And if you were to count Allah’s favors, you would not be able to number them; most surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Qur’an 16:18)
Therefore, the more time we take to get to know God (through the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH)), the more we will get closer to Him, and the more we’ll stop going through the mere motions of worship and understand them for what they are.
So the next time someone is putting you in a bit of a slump, ask yourself: Which path is easier to tread upon, that of the creation, or the Creator?