Okie… So I pulled a little bait-n-switch.
But ya gotta admit, sounds good, doesn’t it? You probably even answered ads promising you the same thing. Went to churches telling you they can get it for you. Subscribed to philosophies that do this and that, pray, be a good boy or girl, and attend the right religious services at the right church with the right denomination (funny how similar that word can be mis-typed as “demon-nation”, huh? or how “denomination” also refers to money? hmm…) and you can have everything you wanted. They do the same thing with Jedi-mind tricks psychology/negotiating/how to win arguments books, lose weight while doing nothing programs, you name it.
Let me start by saying this. Man, by his childish nature, is ungrateful. The Quran (17:83, I am paraphrasing) states that man is ungrateful, and when he is prosperous he does not worship but when he suffers, he prays. Think back to your childhood, on Christmas Day, what is the most sad part of the day? What do you do when that sad part happens?
I do not practice Christmas, but I do birthdays. I’ll answer for you, and you tell me if I’m right. The most sad part is when the last gift has been opened. And when it happens, the last thing you do is look for more gifts that you might not have opened.
Man is, at his very center, that child. His lust and greed and pride will not allow him to be satisfied. Even the most wealthy of men, who own everything in the world, still knocks on God’s door asking for more “stuff”. Lust, greed and pride are like the flowing brook–you can never seem to find its source, and it seems to always run. Men will always want more. We may be handsome, but will still work out more and more to gain more beauty. We may be powerful leaders, and will still lust for more power. We may be the richest of men in the land, we will still get up every morning and go out to create more wealth. And for this reason, the “secret” is that you will NEVER get everything you’ve ever wanted.
Because “everything” is an ever-increasing amount. The more you get, the more you want. It seems, these days, that the only men to escape this are men of sound religious foundation. In the Quran, man is tested and taught to be grateful by constantly being given trials and tribulations. It keeps us grateful for what we have. It keeps us unselfish because we all know what hunger tastes like, and what loneliness feels like, and what eating crow tastes like when you swallow it. This is why we as believers should not treat God as Santa Claus; we don’t prostrate ourselves in prayer to ask for “stuff” all the time. We ask for guidance, for wisdom, for forgiveness–not as a customer showing up at a business placing an order for weight loss or a better job. See, God didn’t pass out flyers hoping you’d choose Him and His wisdom over some other company’s.
And let me jump in a second…
When you approach God, are you approaching him as a “Customer” of the church who deserves to get anything you want? Or do you approach him with extreme humility?
Islamic tradition refers to humility as khushu (koo-shoo, roughly). Let me draw a picture of how humble you should approach your Lord, whatever you call him: the Prophet Muhammad stated that we should treat our prayer as an employee who has been caught not doing his job. Imagine that you were paid to do a job, and for whatever reason, you’ve been cutting up. Sleeping on the job, cheating, stealing, lying on your timesheet, just NOT doing your job. Now, imagine that you discover that your boss knows about it, and they have camera footage of you in action. And you are about to enter the office with the big boss, but you heard he is not going to fire you. How would you enter that room? As a “chosen”, “saved” man whose wrongs have already been forgiven? Or what?
And that feeling, folks, is how you approach prayer. None of us have been doing our job like we’re supposed to be doing. We all have been cutting up. We have been receiving a paycheck despite the big boss knows that you’ve been cutting up. He isn’t going to fire you, but he does want to talk to you about straightening up as an employee. Each time you arrive for prayer, this is how you present yourself to your Lord. You don’t go in asking for a raise or a promotion. Just be glad you have a job. Now, while you’re there–you might want to ask the boss for a little time to get yourself together. Or advice on how you can do your job better. Or for guidance. Or forgiveness. Or for suggestions on what He wants you to do.
The secret to getting more–if you deserve it–is to truly appreciate what you have, and not covet anything else. Just show the One who gave you what you have how glad you are to have it, and to show Him that you deserve more by being a better employee.
And that book? The one with the secrets? I’m willing to bet you have already invested in that course. You just have to crack it open a little more often, and follow its advice. I believe in my house, the book is entitled “The Holy Quran”. In someone else’s house, it may read “The Holy Bible”. And the big boss knows it well, because, according to my teaching, He wrote it Himself.
Thanks for visiting my blog.