86 – Such are they who buy the life of this world at the price of the Hereafter.

It is easy to think that we do have control. We want something, so we go after it. Sometimes we hurt others in the process. But it doesn’t matter, because we are getting what we want. But our happiness does not end in our death. We know of aeons of time, yet we think the 80 years we spend on earth is it…I cannot believe that.

When I was in high school, I played on a basketball team that lost every single game. We were a group of short girls and that didn’t help. But there were times when we were close to winning. There were times we went into the locker room at half time and we were ahead! We would get the pep talk from the coach about how we had to work hard and keep it up. That we could win this game. But I couldn’t help thinking how bad the girls on the other team would feel if they lost to us. See, we were accustomed to losing. It didn’t really bother us (except one girl who happened to have been on a team the previous year who won some). We still enjoyed getting together everyday for practice. What would it do to the morale of the other team when they had to walk away having lost to the worst team in the league? I don’t know why I would get these feelings…I was 16-18 years old at the time. Was Allah speaking this to me? Was he saying a basketball game is not the important part of your life?

I think this is true. There are times in my life when something is so very important that the risk of hurting someone else’s feelings is worth me saying what I need to say. When I was turned down for a job because I spoke my beliefs of the changes necessary in public education, I did not keep my mouth shut when a so-called friend saw me and asked if I was ok. I said I would like to know who is on my side. See, I speak to my “friends” all the time about how I would like to change and improve education. Yet, no one has said anything back, except for the loud message when I didn’t get the job.

Back to basketball. By losing those games, and by speaking my truth, I am following Allah. It is not for anyone else to do. It is for me. I know it is what I am suppose to do, because even in the tears, I feel Allah’s love. I am saddened that others were not what I expected in a time of disappointment, and I am grateful that my team was joyous in a time of failure. Strange paradoxes that seem to have no meaning until you look back. But proof that what we do in this life is so very important to the after life. We have lessons to learn, things to experience and Allah to answer to.

Oh, and my team…we beat a record. Most career losses! And we couldn’t be more proud; that we played our hearts out, lost, kept our heads up and our arms around each other!

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