Let me tell you a bedtime story before you go to sleep tonight. I call it a remarkable deviation.
He didn’t know what was going on but he felt, he thought, he was dying. His time was near. His mind floated. His soul dwelt. His faith confused. But his spirit survived and his hope lighted up.
Often times, he had conversations with God. He talked to himself. He saw visions. He had strange dreams, nightmares sometimes. “If it is my time, please make it easy…”, “…nothing really lasts forever in this life, I’m ready to give up all I have because I know I can’t bring anything when I leave this world…”.
He was in despair. He was run to the hospital. His plans crumbled. His dreams shattered. His heart torn. His future darkened. He was almost ready to see the love ones he once lost few years back. Only until he submitted and accepted his destiny, he started to see the shed of light. And miracle happened. It did come to him.
After then, he rebuilt his life. He put himself together. He recollected his missing pieces. He’s holding on to the promises he made when he was in the deathbed.
He was given another chance to meet with Ramadan again. And he decided to take off a journey he has been dreaming of. He went to the places different from his town where Ramadan is totally a foreign concept. To observe the peoples. To understand the diverse cultures. To be drowning into the personality shift by speaking the local languages he acquired. And to learn about how culture changed as the people found different ways to do things they usually did.
Along the journey he met few people with interesting thoughts.
He talked to an Iranian-born Belgian taxi driver, Ahmed, “are you fasting?” And surprisingly he replied, “what is it?” “Ooh.. Ohh.. It’s when you don’t eat during the holy month of Ramadan..” “Oh no, I moved here when I was a kid. And people don’t do it here, so I just do what the local culture does..”
And he got to the hotel and was welcomed by two Algerian Dutch guys at the reception desk. He was curious and asked them too, “are you fasting today? It’s so cold outside..” “Yes we are. It’s actually easy. Because we’re busy working all day, so we forget that we’re fasting..”
The next day, he took a train for a day trip to the countryside. At the ticket counter, he spoke with the Moroccan French Mahmoud, “can you fast in the heat like this when days are few hours longer?” He simply replied and gestured his point finger to his forehead “it’s only in your mind…” While handed him the tickets. He smiled and left.
For Omar, that journey was really a remarkable deviation for his life. He was so close to death and he was saved by miracle. The self-enlightenment journey that he took helped him see life, the world and the people including himself differently. He transcended himself through those series of events. The critical point awakened him and provided him with important lessons. And life just gave him millions of things to cherish and differences to celebrate. He realized one thing that nothing is too late and impossible. His faith will lead him to where he is destined.
Learning from Omar’s lessons, I believe, even though 9 days have passed, I still should wish everyone of you a very happy Eid Al Fitr 1433 H. May it be a blessed and memorable one for you and your family. And may we be given health and chance to celebrate it again next year.
taken and edited from my Eid 2012 personal greetings