I don’t claim to have it all figured out, but I’d like to think I’m a fairly responsible adult. So often I watch Care Bear walk through life and I want to nudge her in this direction, encourage her in that, and overall just meddle in what she does to get my desired results.
She’s 13, so there’s still a lot to learn, and a lot of growing up to do, but she’s getting to the age where she needs to be guided from a friend level rather than from a dictator level. She’s old enough to be annoyed when she’s told what to do, and unless she agrees it’s worthwhile, she’ll leave it behind as soon as I’m out of the room. With that said, my biggest pet peeve is when she makes big, lofty goals, and then once the work really sets in, she wants to cut corners and do what’s easier.
Maybe it bugs me because I’m so prone to doing it myself.
How often to I pray for the highest levels of Jannah, but then don’t follow through with memorizing Qur’an, praying Sunnah prayers, learning new du’a. How often do I go back to the minimum because I don’t want to do the work to elevate myself to a greater standard? How often do I just “get by” without striving for more?
And how will I feel about that when I’m on my deathbed? I remind Care Bear what life will be like if she completes her goals with her schoolwork and works hard now for an easier life in the future, in sha Allah (at least academically). It dawned on my last night how many parallels there are between her goals for her education, and my goals for the Hereafter – and how we both come up short when it comes time to actually put in the work.
I’ll tell you one thing, I don’t claim to be perfect, or have it all figured out, but that was a light bulb moment if there ever was one.